The Economist quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Resident Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Bilal Y. Saab on America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia:

The high point of the relationship came during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, says Bilal Saab of the Atlantic Council, a think-tank. Memories of two Arab oil embargoes at a time of flat domestic oil production, as well as shared hostility to the Soviet Union, drew the countries close. There followed a blip after 9/11, when 15 of the 19 hijackers turned out to be Saudis. Al-Qaeda attacks in Saudi Arabia between 2003 and 2005 brought the countries closer together again. Though they may dent America’s idea of itself as a champion of liberty, government policy is that good relations are worth it. That may have been true in the Gipper’s day, but the argument is getting harder to make.

Read the full article here.