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The Arab League’s decision to establish a joint military force should be viewed, above all, as a major accomplishment for Saudi Arabian foreign policy — though Egypt’s president has also been advocating this. It comes with serious risks, however.

It all starts with Riyadh. As Arab Spring uprisings appeared to sweep all before them in 2011, the Saudi regime seemed confident it was immune, even after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s swift fall. The Saudi leadership’s lack of assurance was betrayed, however, by a series of panicky steps.

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