Speaking to AFP on Wednesday, the analysts said bin Salman was adopting an interventionist and belligerent foreign policy, citing the protracted bloody war on Yemen as an example.
“The Saudi foreign policy pattern is to ‘shoot first and ask questions later’,” Bessma Momani, a professor at Canada’s University of Waterloo, said. “It is impulsive and fails to have a long-term exit strategy.”
She also referred to the latest deadly clashes between UAE-backed southern separatists and Saudi-sponsored militants loyal to ex-Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the southern port city of Aden. The two camps serve a coalition, which has been waging the brutal military campaign against Yemen since 2015.
UAE admits raid on Saudi-backed ‘terrorists’ as rifts widenThe UAE terms Saudi-backed elements operating in southern Yemen “terrorists”, exposing a deep rift between Saudi-led coalition.
Momani said that the flare-up “exposes how flawed the original Yemen strategy was in the first place.”
“If Yemen is divided into north and south again, Saudi Arabia will have two possibly restless neighbors to deal with,” she added.
The Aden clashes erupted weeks after the UAE announced a surprise plan to pull out part of its troops from Yemen in a major blow to its coalition allies.
Late last month, The Wall Street Journal cited American officials as saying that the US is planning to initiate direct talks with Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, which has been both running state affairs and defending the country against the aggression, in a declared bid to end the war.
Back in July, the American daily reported that Pentagon officials have concluded on their own that the war has degenerated into “an unwinnable quagmire” and have urged the Saudis to negotiate an end to the offensive.
Hussein Ibish, a scholar at a US-based think tank dedicated to covering the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf region, told AFP that Saudi Arabia’s recent mistakes are rooted in its unpreparedness for taking an independent leadership role in the region.
“There is a pattern of strategic errors by Saudi Arabia in recent years, and that’s partly because the country is, for the first time, taking an independent leadership role in the region,” he said.
“Saudi Arabia was not prepared for the role… and the Saudi military was not designed for major international expeditions,” he added.