The Destination is Riyadh
By : Faisal Al-Shammeri
:: With the arrival of President Trump to Riyadh, there are things we know and there are things that of a historical magnitude unfolding before all of us that we have yet to realize.
It is stating the obvious that this is a strategic partnership of the highest order, for both countries. Since the striking of this alliance by His Majesty King Abdulaziz Al Saud on board The U.S.S. Quincy with President Roosevelt at Yalta in 1945 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is perhaps the closest partner that The United States has outside of “The Five Eyes” alliance that Washington has with Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
It is also stating the obvious that the two countries share the same grounds and interests in any number of regional and global issues.
What is interesting is that the first stop in this tour of the Middle East will be Riyadh. What is also of notice is the number of heads of state who will be present in Riyadh while The President is in The Kingdom. Simply put we are watching a massive shift in the dynamics of the region and have been for the previous few years.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is on its way to becoming the preeminent power in The Arab World based on the obvious fact that His Majesty King Salman, and his successors, are the Custodians of The Two Holy Mosques but also on account of the leading economic position it enjoys as one of the dominant players in the world petroleum markets.
The leadership of Riyadh, and forming a coalition of willing partners, to address a security concern in Bahrain that threatened regional security was the initial step. The decisive role that The Kingdom is playing in Yemen is a further indicator that when it comes to competence of its leadership and willingness to assert its presence when regional security concerns are seriously threatened Riyadh is now formally recognized as a regional power that is only beginning to grow into its ultimate role.
So why Riyadh first? The largest military package ever assembled by Washington will be announced in Riyadh during this visit which is a clear demonstration of appreciation for not only the value that The Kingdom brings on any number of levels but a irrefutable statement of trust in the leadership and military personnel of the nation.
Great Britain is the strongest military partner that The United States enjoys in that the officers, enlisted personnel, and equipment are flawlessly integrated in to military operations on the highest strategic order.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is rapidly growing into a role that will allow it as well to be able to operate side-by-side with The United States in the same manner. In this regard Riyadh will be able to participate, should the need arise, on the highest operational levels possible that many current members of NATO cannot.
The ultimate, and logical, progression of this is that for the region a new version of NATO will be put into existence where The United States and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be the dominant members of the coalition much in the same context that The United States and Great Britain represent in Europe.
It must be noted that strategic partners in The Gulf Cooperation Council will be able to further add to the magnitude of this presence making it potentially the most competent security alliance in the world. With Washington and Riyadh playing this role it will allow for a collective regional leadership that can carry the credibility and respect of the global community.
The issues that are present in The Arabian Gulf, Iraq, Syria and Yemen are growing in stature to the point that they are no longer simply regional concerns but rather global of the first order.
As a result an “Arab NATO” is really not only a logical progression of the change of the global Saudi position, but now an abundantly necessary one. On the war in Syria, Washington, Riyadh and The Gulf Council share the same interests regarding the war in Syria, Iraq’ stabilization and security and the war in Yemen. On the looming threat of Tehran possessing nuclear weapons, again, Washington, Riyadh and The Gulf Council also share the same interests.
What we will be witnessing, subtly, and without many people not realizing, is that Riyadh is now recognized, formally as the undisputed leader of The Arab World. Moreover, for our Brothers and Sisters in the region, and our Dear Friends throughout the world, it is a role we are not only grateful to accept, but understand the awesome responsibility that comes with it.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in the Column section are their own and do not reflect RiyadhVision’s point-of-view.