Posted on Jan 4, 2016
1SG Claims Assistant
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Where have I heard this story before?
Maybe the Saudis should just sign a "deal" with Iran... that'll fix it.

The Backstory:
Saudi Arabia executed a Shia cleric, Nimr Baqr al-Nimr, after he was implicated and convicted of having a role in Shia protests in the eastern part of the country and neighboring Bahrain, forcibly put down by the Saudi military in 2012 during the "Arab Spring".
Iran was incensed by this, and as a result sponsored and encouraged a number of violent protests around the region including attacks on several Saudi diplomatic missions including the embassy in Teheran.
The Saudis responded by severing diplomatic relations, and Bahrain and Sudan followed suit. The United Arab Emirates recalled their ambassador and are looking at economic sanctions.
The Russians (!) are offering to mediate the conflict.

My opinion:
The Saudis are well-known for aggressively handing out and executing death sentences. They knew darn well that there'd be consequences for this particular one. The Saudi king has been pretty aggressive since assuming the throne at prosecuting a proactive strategy against Iranian incursions around their sphere of influence, notably in Yemen and Bahrain. I don't think they expected their embassies to come under attack, though.
Interestingly to me, the Iranian protesters mad at the Saudis burned... the American Flag. Chants of "Death to America" were also a component. You know, because reasons.
As the diplomatic schism widens, this has some pretty significant ramifications for US policy in the region. Which way should we go? I don't know which way we should go, much less which way we are going to go. The State Department has been silent so far. Pre-Iran Deal, this would be an easier call. Now... you know the Iranians will start talking about backing out of the deal if we take the Saudi's side. Can't have that.

One thing I know for sure is that you can't cede the diplomatic point to Russia. They might be a useful partner for tamping down the spat, but their motives are definitely not aligned with the US. But we'd better not leave it sit. There have been some very hot tensions along sectarian lines for a while. An actual rupture in relations has the potential to turn into a hot war - one I think both sides are spoiling for.
What say you RP?
I'm very interested in boiler-plating some solutions.
Posted in these groups: Sa flag Saudi ArabiaC842160b Foreign PolicyIran logo Iran
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Responses: 11
Col Joseph Lenertz
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US National Security interests have not yet caught up to the reality that we no longer need SA oil. So our vital interest have decreased, but not gone away. Our allies still need their oil, and we still need strategic access. I would not invest another penny or minute in the Iran "deal". It was never a deal for the US, and Iran will use every action or inaction or statement the US makes to extort more money from us to keep the crappy "deal" alive. They never planned to abide by it. I also don't want to get between a multi-national Shia vs Sunni slugfest. Let the Russians get into that 1,000 year old hornet's nest. Continue plinking DAESH in Iraq & Syria, but otherwise stay out of this...like you say, "Death to America" chants indicate we are still the Great Satan there...why add fuel to that fire? Doing nothing is sometimes an OK strategy.
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1SG Claims Assistant
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Hey, hey! Somebody gets it.
Even still, instability in that region, much less an open war, would be very bad for the US, economically and otherwise.
Do you advocate staying disengaged altogether, sir?
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Col Joseph Lenertz
Col Joseph Lenertz
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No, not altogether. Keep engaged in the D, I and E parts of DIME, and keep the "m" small. I've lost confidence in our DOS though. Not sure they have anybody left there that can spell REALPOLITIK. Everybody there is from an NGO, solving world hunger and global warming.
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Col Joseph Lenertz - That is a fact, sir.
We all know that skyrocketing temperatures in the Middle East caused by global warming is the cause of conflict in Syria... meh.
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SCPO David Lockwood
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This seems to be so familiar. Like it has been going on for years amongst each other.
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SCPO David Lockwood, I was reminded very much of our embassy in Teheran in 1979.
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SCPO David Lockwood
SCPO David Lockwood
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When I saw that on the news that is exactly what I thought. Again this part of the world has been fighting with each other for centuries. Will it end? Probably not. But I agree with the students who overran the American Embassy and took the hostages. How long did they have the hostages, 400 days?
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SCPO David Lockwood - 444 days. Let them go the day that Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.
Wait, you AGREE with the students that overran the US embassy???
I hope you mean the parallel... lol
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SCPO David Lockwood
SCPO David Lockwood
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Yes the parallel! LOL!
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Capt Seid Waddell
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This is what happens when the U.S. rejects its leadership role in the world - the world reverts to its natural state of disorder and war.
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SGT Jeremy Reese
SGT Jeremy Reese
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Al Udied is likely the most at risk of our assets in the ME. Kuwait has been quiet, surprisingly quiet. I'm not really sure why Bahrain responded so quickly in support of Saudi Arabia, especially with so many Shiites in their country.

In addition, if we take a side, it will destroy our pull with the other Sect. We have significant assets in Shiite and Sunni dominant countries. Kuwait being Shiite, Bahrain, Qatar, and UAE being Sunni.
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SGT Jeremy Reese - Problem is, our policies have been so muddled the past few years that neither side trusts us and in fact thinks that we are in league with the other.
Kuwait is very much majority Sunni. Bahrain has a significant minority of Shia adherents, something like 40%.
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Capt Seid Waddell
Capt Seid Waddell
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SGT Jeremy Reese, "...if we take a side, it will destroy our pull with the other Sect..."

It's a bit too late for that to matter. Both sides see us as backing the other side and neither side trusts us now. This administration has managed to destroy any respect we had previously in the region by either side.
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Capt Seid Waddell
Capt Seid Waddell
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SGM Mikel Dawson, we had influence in the region when we were the guarantors of peace and security; the Russians had been run out decades ago, and are now beginning to stir the pot again. Russian strength in the region combined with American weakness will not be good for us or the world.
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