Analyst Christopher Stirewalt on Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s Visit to the U.S.

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As many of you know, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is in the United States to take part in the G20 Summit. He started his tour in Israel where he thanked President Trump for visiting Israel and announced the state of Israel will build the embassy there. He then went to Jordan where he acknowledged the problem in Yemen and built bridges with King Abdullah. He also announced that Saudi Arabia will buy $500 Billion in military hardware from American weapons manufacturers in the next ten years.

That’s just a taste of what the Crown Prince has accomplished since the death of Saudi billionaire and alleged arms dealer and the Khashoggi murder. What that said is that the Saudis will continue to buy weapons from the United States, that the result of the Khashoggi murder and the Iran deal will be that Iran remains on the hook for whatever happens in Iran, and that the United States will continue to sell the Saudis whatever equipment they want.

What we’re left with is Trump allowing the Saudis to continue regardless of what happens in Syria, what happens in the war between Iran and Israel, what happens in Yemen, what happens in the embassy matter, and what happens with the embassy matter will say a lot about our approach to the Middle East.

If things do go badly in the Middle East, the costs will be whatever we are willing to give the Saudis. The role that the U.S. will play and what U.S. interests will be involved in. That’s what we have left.

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