Saudi – US Relations

The Story: 

It has been a little over two months now since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a reporter for the Washington Post, in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Khashoggi’s death brought to the front burner of US politics the long-simmering issue of US/Saudi relations.

The Investigation:

Turkey, US intelligence agencies, the Saudi government itself, and (after a briefing this week) several US Senators of both parties all have come to the conclusion since Khashoggi’s death that he was murdered by Saudi officials, and his body dismembered and disposed of. Eleven Saudi nationals have been indicted in this matter.

Further, almost everyone except President Trump and his inner circle seems agreed about another question: how far up the hierarchy of Saudi authority does responsibility go?

The Thing to Know:

A related though distinct issue is: what is the appropriate response of the United States to the emerging consensus that the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, the county’s de facto leader, ordered this killing? Answering that one would may prove tricky. Many make the case that maintaining close relations between the US and Saudi Arabia (a Sunni power) helps counter Shiite extremists in the region.


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