Much of this aid does not necessarily flout Americas wishes but, even where interests coincide, friction can arise. Such as in Syria, where joint Saudi-CIA plans to supply anti-government rebels have consistently stumbled against what Saudi operatives view as quibbling American qualms. The halting nature of such supplies, the Saudis complain, has emboldened Islamist extremists who have more regular sources of funding and weapons and weakened the American-backed political opposition. Last August, when Syrias president, Bashar Assad, was caught red-handed gassing his own people in their hundreds, the Saudis saw a golden opportunity to strike hard. Mr Obama instead shrank back, apparently satisfied with the narrower aim of eliminating Mr Assads chemical weapons.
Despite this growing list of grievances on both sides, the two countries need each other. America retains a strong military presence in the Gulf, and cannot be replaced as the ultimate guarantor of Saudi security in the foreseeable future. In the midst of turmoil across the region, and with the threat of jihadist terrorism ever-present, America still relies heavily on the Saudis as the leading local policeman.
And the countries have other things in common, not all of them helpful. Decision-making in both Riyadh and Washington has grown increasingly erratic, even dysfunctional, albeit for different reasons. Saudi Arabias senior rulers are old and weary, and prone to factional rivalry as younger princes jostle for power in the inevitable succession to the king, who is thought to be at least 89. Mr Obamas administration, meanwhile, has been shackled by an unusually obstreperous legislature. He will not even be greeted in Riyadh by an American ambassador. He nominated one in November, but Congress has refused so far to confirm his appointment.
1.appear to 似乎;好像
例句:By all accounts, Rodger would appear to be afine fellow.
2.head to 引至，通到
例句:I let the horse drop his head to crop the springgrass.
3.depend on 依赖;依靠
例句:They depend on the goodwill of visitors to pick up rubbish.
4.such as 例如;譬如
例句:Issues such as these were not really his concern.