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Why Saudi Arabia matters more than ever to the US in a volatile Middle East

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To say that the Middle East is a volatile region is an understatement, and yet its centrality to global stability is still often forgotten. In fact, the region could be far more disruptive to the world were it not anchored at its core in the Arabian Peninsula by an influential state, Saudi Arabia, and its partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—status quo powers that have a vested interest in a well-functioning global economic and political order.

Strengthening this anchor with a formal US-Saudi security alliance would serve to keep the GCC solidly in the U.S. orbit in an increasingly multipolar world. These are, after all, states with the resources and the will to actively support the United States in upholding a U.S.-led regional order.

Even a small crack in this order, as evidenced by the Houthis’ hostile actions toward global shipping in the past six months, shows just how much global disruption a revolutionary actor from this region can cause. So far, the Houthis have disrupted shipping lanes in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, caused a massive increase in insurance and freight prices, and saddled the United States and its allies with the conundrum of how to deal with this problem without landing troops to occupy Houthi-controlled Yemen. The Houthi challenge is but a foretaste of what would happen should a

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