In a con game, the Grifter will often let the Marks believe that they are in charge. The Grifter plays on people’s arrogance and ignorance and naïveté. The Saudis are cutthroat when it comes to oil, but I wouldn’t bet much on their smarts in international affairs.
In a post nuclear age, a World War has no Grifters and no Marks. There will be no winners.