by David Ignatius, The Daily Star, Lebanon
Riyadh will be a crucial, if quixotic, ally as the United States seeks to mobilize Sunni Muslims against the terrorist ISIS.
For a generation, Americans and Saudis have worried that the kingdom was a potential tinderbox, with Muslim and secular extremists vying to undermine the conservative monarchy.
U.S. and Arab experts describe a kingdom that is worried about three dangers: the rise of Iran and its Shiite Muslim allies; the resurgence of Sunni extremism embodied by ISIS; and the reliability of the United States, the kingdom’s protector, which is seen by many Saudis as a superpower in retreat.
The new spy chief and the interior minister, accompanied by Bandar and Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, traveled to Qatar this week, presenting a common front to a regional rival that has often bedeviled Saudi and U.S. policy.
The Saudis must worry that a similar process has happened again. Some of the Sunni fighters they backed against Iran have drifted toward ISIS.
Read more: http://dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2014/Sep-01/269004-the-saudis-will-be-vital-in-helping-to-fight-isis.ashx#ixzz3C3FJw7jQ
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)