By Allison Brennan and Deena Zaru
Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, October 25, 2013:
1. A Strained Alliance Saudi Arabia is unhappy with the U.S. to say the least, threatening to “scale back” the countries’ strong alliance over disapproval of recent efforts by the U.S. to warm up to Iran. Both the Saudis and the Israelis have urged the U.S. not to buy into Iran’s “charm offensive.” Last week Saudi Arabia decided not to join the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member, citing the Council’s failure to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and their failure to stop the bloodshed in Syria, which further strained the decades-long alliance between the U.S. and the Saudi Arabia. Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud criticized what he considers a weak U.S. approach in handling Syria, accusing Obama of being indecisive and failing to act more aggressively against Bashar Al-Assad. The Saudis’ frustration is fueled by fears of a change in the balance of power in the Middle East as they pressure the U.S. to take a stronger position against Iran and Syria. If Saudi Arabia continues to turn a cold shoulder toward the U.S., Jordan and the United Arab Emirates might be the only strong remaining Arab allies, threatening Israeli and American interests in the region.