Reining in Saudi's Prince of the Blood
Candidate Trump was no fan of Saudi Arabia, questioning the American alliance with Riyadh and criticizing Saudi human rights abuses. President Trump has reversed course and swung too far in the opposite direction. It’s time for Congress to help the Trump administration find a happy medium: Valuable U.S. partnerships should not be discarded outright, but an "America First" policy that is blind to those partners’ flaws is just as detrimental to U.S. interests.
During the campaign, Trump condemned the Saudis’ treatment of women and gays. Yet as president, Trump went from a vocal critic to offering steadfast support for the Saudi leadership in the wake of the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. It is troubling to see the Trump administration follow the Obama administration in seeming to forget that, in the chaotic Middle East, America must lead, not follow, if it is to be taken seriously by allies and deter other powers from undermining U.S. interests.