This paper aims to depict how the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has the capacity to assert itself as the most influential Arab player in the region. However it will also be stressed that the lack of a clear strategy in the medium-term and the failure in creating a unite front with other gulf countries is deeply undermining the capability of the kingdom in promoting a new regional order. KSA seems, in fact, to have the sole aim of preserving the status-quo wherever possible, engaging in a confrontation with Iran in the Iraqi, Syrian and Yemeni context. It will be argued that the US could therefore play a significant role in promoting new shared responsibilities for the Gulf States and the KSA.
Fatiha Dazi-Heni is Senior Researcher on Arab Gulf Monarchies at the Institut de Recherches Stratégiques de l’Ecole Militaire (IRSEM), Paris and Lecturer on Arab World at the Political Institute of Lille.