The U.S.-Saudi Friendship Is One-Sided
In the past year since Khashoggi's brutal murder, the world has begun to question the strategic role of Saudi Arabia in the world.
What does the U.S. gain from selling Saudi Arabia stockpiles of weapons? What does the U.S. gain for advancing Saudi's influence in the Middle East?
The U.S. gains a fair weather friend. A country whose staunch lack of democratic values, liberties, and institutional justice begs the question of what can hold a friendship of expedience together.
Iran has become more focally the common thread, but even then, the U.S. plays a dangerous game advancing one regional hegemon at the expense of another. A Congressional Oversight report stated that internal hawkish interests and external business interests have pushed the Trump administration to flirt with a transferal of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.
For militarizing the Middle East so staunchly, what does the U.S. have to gain?
An increased Saudi presence, one example being the 2015-present war in Yemen, which has devastated the country, killing of tens thousands and driving millions from their homes, does not seem to necessarily benefit the U.S. or human rights more broadly. The U.S. Senate has voted in an apparent display of bipartisanship to stop the sale and transmission of military weapons to Saudi Arabia.
Trump vetoed the bipartisan bill. Could the senate crank their 53-45 majority up to two-thirds majority? The U.S. public mostly disapproves of Saudi Arabia, and is seems right the U.S. disengage with Yemen. But, enough politicians have stood in line with the president on this issue.
The constitutional irony of this whole drama is that Congress, whose constitutional power is to declare war, not the president's, has been attempting to legislate its way backwards in time. The president should never have engaged in a war in Yemen, without initial congressional backing. And now, he has kept the U.S. engaged in the war despite widespread disapproval.
Beyond Yemen, Saudi Arabia is pushing the United States closer and closer to military confrontation with Iran.
Finally, at this point, the U.S. has begun to look more the faithful servant to Saudi Arabia, as our own democratic institutions erode. It would be wise for the U.S. to scale back this fair weather friendship, lest it push the U.S. to another horrific and unending war with Iran or start another Saudi-led war with another Middle Eastern state.