Allies or enemies? Why the US won’t stop supporting Saudi Arabia

Published on April 20, 2021 by

Saudi Arabia and the United States appear to have little in common. One is a democracy, the other an autocratic monarchy. One has individual rights enshrined in its constitution, the other just recently allowed women to drive. One is majority Christian, the other Muslim. Yet despite these fundamental differences, the countries are deeply connected.
Adding depth to their common desire to rein in Iranian influence, Saudi Arabia and the United States have a significant history. When Joe Biden was running for President of the United States, he promised to be tough on Saudi Arabia. He vowed to make Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “pay” for the murder of US based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and that we would not longer supply weapons for his the war in Yemen. Now that Biden is in charge at the White House, his administration has taken a different tone. But why is taking harsher measures against the Saudis so much more difficult than making a campaign promise?

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