"In recent years, shared concerns over Sunni Islamist extremist terrorism and Iranian government policies have provided some renewed logic for continued strategic cooperation. Political upheaval and conflict in the Middle East and North Africa appear to have strained bilateral ties, but the Trump Administration has stated its intent to strengthen ties to the kingdom. Successive U.S. Administrations have referred to the Saudi government as an important partner, and U.S. arms sales and related security cooperation programs have continued with congressional oversight and amid some congressional opposition [...] U.S. policymakers have sought to coordinate with Saudi leaders on regional issues and help them respond to domestic economic and security challenges. Saudi authorities are attempting to reorient and revitalize the nation's economy, while streamlining public expenditure. Shared security challenges have long defined U.S.-Saudi relations, and questions about Saudi domestic and foreign policy may become more pertinent as leadership changes occur in the kingdom and as conflicts and competition continue in the Middle East region. Saudi leaders' assertiveness in confronting perceived threats and the effects of their sharpening tensions with Iran could affect U.S. security interests, including with regard to Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. Congress may examine these developments when considering the scope, terms, and merits of ongoing U.S.-Saudi partnership, proposed arms sales, and security commitments."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33533
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html