Re-evaluating the U.S.-Saudi relationship

By Daniel DePetris

The savage murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in
an operation planned by the Saudi government was an appalling crime.
You should be commended for continuing to call for full accountability
and justice against the perpetrators.

But Mr. Khashoggi’s killing is not the end of the story. Under Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has proved to be a purveyor
of instability in the Middle East.

Whether it includes a war in Yemen that has resulted in a humanitarian
crisis, the kidnapping of the Lebanese prime minister or an embargo on
Qatar that has divided the Gulf Cooperation Council, the time has come
for the United States to undergo a strategic re-evaluation of its
relationship with Riyadh.

Despite what the Trump administration says, Saudi Arabia is not an
ally. When national security interests coincide, Washington should
cooperate with the Saudis as it would with any country that shares
similar goals. But when those interests diverge, Washington should
show the courage to go its own way. American leaders must make it
clear that United States support is not an entitlement.

The American people want a foreign policy that makes sense and defends
their interests first. Washington should start heeding their call.

Daniel DePetris is a fellow at Defense Priorities.

This piece was originally published by The New York Times on February 14, 2019. Read more HERE.