Saudi Arabia may be facing its biggest challenges yet ever since the unification of the Kingdom in 1930.
Inside the country, an Iranian-induced uprising of the Shia community on its Eastern shores persists, and its ageing leadership is forcing a transition, which, by all accounts, is fraught with pushbacks and dissension by the Royals.
On the foreign front, the Kingdom has failed to unseat Assad, and its strongest ally, the US, is twisting its arms to strike a deal with Iran to co-exist geographically while giving the Mullahs the leeway to define their sphere of influence along the faulty lines of sectarianism. Remember Lebanon? A minority, we refer to as Hezbollah, has terrorized the majority of Lebanese into total submission. Any guess what will happen in Eastern Saudi Arabia once the Mullahs, with Obama’s blessing, start to interfere.
Each of these cases has Saudi Arabia under immense duress that I am certain the leadership grasps its defining moment. However, the answer to these internal and external pressure points remains anchored in predictable and slow moving Saudi strategic responses.
As far as Saudi Arabia negotiating with Iran, the Kingdom is at a disadvantage from the get go. If Iran proposes a solution to the Shia in Saudi Arabia, can the Saudi propose a solution to the Ahwazis in Iran? Not really, their threat levels make them unequal in value, and value to the opposing party is what ultimately drives negotiations.
The Mullahs will stand firm on Assad and will concentrate on corralling the Shia communities across the Gulf smaller nations under Iranian hegemony the way they did it in Iraq, before they unleash them the way they did it in Lebanon.
In short, Saudi Arabia has no cards to play given that Assad is not the one under siege, which means Mr. Obama is about to hand Iran another victory that would insure further destabilization of the region.
Between the Monarchy transition tensions, the Shia uprising, the failure to remove Assad from power, and the Iranian threats expanding, al-Saud are facing daunting sets of problems with a bleak outcome in each case. In fact, one large car bomb in Dammam, and the whole country could sink into chaos.
Few people realize the precarious position al-Saud find themselves in today, which shows how untimely and ignorant is the pressure from the White House for a Saudi-Iranian deal.
The Saudis must get more serious about their troubles, and fast.
Showing off Chinese missiles in a military parade where the head of the Pakistani Armed Forces was a guest does not meet the minimum standards to pressure Iran who may be behind manipulating President Obama for a Saudi submission.
My solution has been and remains the testing of a small atomic bomb in the Rub’ al-Khali 1,000Kms diameter desert. In taking these steps, with the help of Pakistan, the Saudis will beat their opponents back on several fronts simultaneously.
A small nuclear test will torpedo any future negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, sitting pretty thanks to Obama. In response to the test, Iran would most likely announce developing its own nuclear weapon, which would spare the world this cat and mouse game the Mullahs have turned into a masterpiece theater. Clocking buckets of miles on Air Force 3 will become the top priority of our Secretary of State and half the NEA staff at State will now turn their full attention to Saudi Arabia.
Sorry Palestine, you will have to wait few more years.
With a nuclear weapon tested by the first Arab country ever, there will be an Arab jubilation across the whole region the like we have never seen before. All Arabs will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Saudi Arabia, thus replacing, with their immense support, a timid US foreign policy the Kingdom can no longer rely upon considering the general isolationist atmosphere America is experiencing.
Lastly, a nuclear Saudi test would open the door for Mr. Obama to re-assess his foreign policy imperatives. It will also be a lesson in reverse soft power Mr. Obama is not accustomed to facing, which may help him adjust his political priorities to be more realistic than I-need-to-earn-that-Nobel-Peace-Prize mindset he seems to clinch to with his dear life.
Testing a nuclear weapon is not an easy decision because it will generate some negative regional and international repercussions. The first problem is how to circumvent, legally, the NPT (Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) that Saudi Arabia ratified and signed.
Because al-Saud may have financed the Pakistan nuclear arsenal, any testing conducted with Pakistan on Saudi soil may simply provide that legal loophole, as long as Saudi Arabia provides ironclad assurances on proliferation and securitization matters to its allies.
By addressing it with an open mind, the Saudis will realize that this is the only exit from an Iranian trap bound to subvert the Gulf countries and submit the region to a regime of terror. If the Iranian people hate their own regime with so much passion, one can only imagine how Arabs would feel about a new repressive foreign power dictating to them while Saudi Arabia dithers and dies.
Al-Saud have no choice but to think out of the box to force derailing this locomotive heading over a ravine.
Whomever gets credit for this policy change, be it a Shammari or a Sudeiri, may rule Saudi Arabia for generations to come.