The Saudis value an alliance that dates back to 1945. But the alliance has always been based on shared threat assessments—not shared values. Whether the threat was the Soviet Union, Saddam Hussein, Shia Iran or al Qaeda, America and Saudi Arabia were partners. But for Riyadh the Arab awakening posed a new threat, a mortal challenge to the world’s last absolute monarchy, that America has been too slow to understand. Come to your senses, America, and back the army, the king urges. Stick with autocracy.