US-Saudi Relations Get Even Trickier

The Story: 

On the morning of December 6, at the US Naval Air Station Pensacola, a gunman opened on a crowd, killing three people and injuring eight, before being shot and killed himself. The gunman was a Saudi man at the US NAS for training.

Background:

Relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia are delicate even at the best of times.

These relations became a likely subject of the 2020 Presidential campaign late last year, when a journalist working for a US newspaper, Jamal Khashoggi, was murdered within a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

President Donald Trump indicated that he was unlikely to sanction Saudi Arabia for this because Saudi Arabia buys so many weapons from US manufacturers. “Saudi Arabia is a big buyer of product,” he said. “That means something to me. It’s a big producer of jobs.”

The Thing to Know:

The US and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement in May 2017, only four months into the Trump Presidency, that the Saudis would buy $350 billion in US arms over 10 years. At some point the US will presumably have to decide whether they are paying us for permission to continue killing us, and whether we are still willing to take the money on that grounds.

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