Here's a crazy scenario: suppose you decide to invade Iran. You can't just sail your carrier up to the northern end of the Persian Gulf to support your drive to Tehran, the way we did on the way to Baghdad. You'd have to sail that carrier past 300 miles of Iraqi shoreline dotted with advanced anti-ship defenses in waters crawling with mini-subs. And it's a long, long way over rough terrain to get from the Gulf of Oman to Tehran in the extreme north of the country. Imagine fighting your way from New York City to Chicago, only the terrain in between was all mountains. So you land a Marine expeditionary force at the Gulf of Oman that fights its way northwest along the Persian Gulf. After they capture the shore batteries, you bring in your destroyers to clear out the mini-subs and then bring in your carriers.
Now that expeditionary force needs close air support and ground attack capabilities, and it needs to have them in an environment where the enemy has extensive, state of the art anti-aircraft missile installations. The logic for a Marine stealth jump jet in this scenario is compelling; what's questionable is trying to make that aircraft work for everyone else.
Prince Sultan Air Base is as close to the Iranian shoreline as the Gulf of Oman (significantly closer from the midpoint north), why play the Saudi's game for decades if you're not going to use their facilities when you need to fight in their back yard?