American In Saudi

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Solid data on hedging activity is difficult to obtain but U. That number has jumped significantly in post-attack trading sessions, setting a new floor for U. The U. The timing of these events is crucial.

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The oil industry typically sets capital budgets under the assumption that U. With prices trending below those levels before the attack, executives had been concerned. But no more. The windfall will most likely be used to pay down debt and reward Wall Street, though, not seek additional production growth. The Energy Department recently revised its growth forecast for this year downward by , barrels a day to Even without higher output targets, American producers will find greater demand abroad for their product.

The markets remain skeptical of assurances by Saudi Arabia that production will be back online so soon. The light sweet crude that U. The takeover of the Grand Mosque in Mecca by Juhayman al-Utaybi and his followers, in retrospect, was a warning shot across the bow of both governments. At the time, however, the tendency was to dismiss the takeover as a fringe manifestation of Muslim millenarianism, and certainly no reason to reassess the strategy of mobilizing Sunni Salafism and kindling the spirit of jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

The strategy worked — at least when viewed from the s.

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Soviet forces were driven out of Afghanistan; the Iranian revolutionary momentum was blunted as much by Saddam Husayn in the Iran-Iraq War as by anything else, though both Saudi Arabia and the US helped him ; the Cold War was won by the Americans, with support from their friends in Riyadh and elsewhere.

The Gulf War of was the high point of Saudi-American cooperation. The spirit of Salafi jihadism ignited by Afghanistan and focused on the United States at least in part by the Gulf War, which came to be personified by Usama bin Ladin, was an inconvenience and an irritant in the Saudi-American relationship in the s, but not a major issue. The Saudis suppressed domestic Salafi opposition voices which were raised during the Gulf War, but chose not to take on the more general phenomenon of transnational Salafi jihadism, which found recruits and funding within the Kingdom.

They tried, instead, to channel it into what Riyadh saw as relatively innocuous fronts: Bosnia, Chechnya, and back to Afghanistan. The political cost of confronting Salafi jihadism directly — ideologically and organizationally — was too difficult politically. The United States expected the Saudi leadership to conduct a searching self-examination about its ideological, organizational, and financial role in the development of Salafi jihadism conveniently avoiding any public self-examination about its own role in the process.

Instead, his administration is further entrenching U. The goal of this new deployment is to "send the message to the Iranians, do not strike another sovereign state, do not threaten American forces," said Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley.

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Esper likewise characterized the move as a "response to Iranian provocations. So as tensions between Riyadh and Tehran escalate, Washington is telegraphing its willingness to fight for the House of Saud — even more explicitly than it indicated a willingness to fight for our Kurdish partners in Syria. That's how this deployment repeats the mistake of overcommitting U.

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And the same disappointment may well follow, as the Trump administration is setting up a perverse incentive for Saudi Arabia and Iran as well as a future predicament for the United States. Here's how we get there: Current assurances of American support encourage Riyadh to be aggressive in its dealings with Tehran, rejecting options to de-escalate and seek a peaceful, diplomatic resolution or at least a stalemate or balance of power both can accept.

With the most powerful military in the world at its side, Saudi Arabia may well be emboldened to ratchet up hostilities toward Iran — while Iran, feeling threatened by its enemy's position of strength, will become even more provocative in an attempt to prove itself a formidable adversary. For both sides, U. If mutual escalation continues, however, Washington eventually will have to choose: Do we follow through on the pledge to fight for Saudi Arabia, becoming embroiled in a major new conflict?

Or do we disentangle from the region's squabbles, declining to wage war at Saudi behest after years of suggesting we would do exactly that? Neither option is good, but both can be avoided by changing course now. Saudi Arabia is unworthy of unconditional U.

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Like the Kurds, it is not a treaty ally of the United States — nor should it be, as its government is a brutal dictatorship well known to contribute to regional chaos, most visibly at present through its U. Unlike the Kurds, it is a wealthy state perfectly capable of handling its own defense.

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Rather than deploying more American forces to protect an oppressive regime that has no obligation to do the same for us, Trump should finally make good on his many promises to bring U. This is a straightforward and realistic way to reject recreating the dilemma we had in Syria, and it avoids plunging us into rising conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a religious clash our government little understands and should not try to manipulate.

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