Exclusive: Saudi Arabia is wielding its oil weapon by keeping production high and prices low – all the better to punish some rivals and consolidate market share – but the gambit may come back to bite the House of Saud, as Andrés Cala explains.
Official Washington’s latest “group think” is that the drop in oil prices will bring Russia and Iran to their knees ready to do whatever the U.S. demands. But this analysis is a miscalculation that could cause President Obama to miss diplomatic opportunities to resolve disputes, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Despite rhetorical suggestions about a shift in U.S. geopolitical strategy, the pre-placement of military stockpiles indicates that America’s security interests will remain focused on protecting oil supplies, writes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
Despite Israel’s great political influence in Washington, the Obama administration may soon have to decide whether it will risk economic retaliation from Saudi Arabia by opposing Palestinian statehood in the United Nations. A Saudi cutback in oil production could send gas prices to $5 a gallon and sink the U.S. recovery, Lawrence Davidson writes.