News Analysis |
President of the United States of America Donald Trump has termed Saudi Arabia as a “spectacular ally” brushing away CIA’s report as premature assessment. He has said, during a brief interaction with reporters on Saturday at White House Lawn that the U.S government is yet to establish the core perpetrator whose order led to the death of Washington Post opinion contributor Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
He further stated that a final report would be submitted by the Central Intelligence Agency which will decide the fate of the conclusion the U.S has made regarding the crime which he said: “should never have happened”. But he also did not rule out the possibility that Mohammed Bin Salman was responsible for the murder of the journalist.
Donald Trump has not succumbed to the plot and decided to stand with the ally Saudi Arabia which would well be appreciated by Riyadh.
State Department has already discarded the reports circulating in the media. “Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. “There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi.”
Read more: Saudis issue charges but exonerate crown prince in Khashoggi murder
Really a Spectacular Ally
It is beyond doubt that the Kingdom has really been up to the task as far as the interests of United States are concerned, excluding a relatively dim phase during the time when Barak Obama was in the office. The United States is the largest weapons supplier to Saudi Arabia mounting the billions of dollar keeping its economy going. Saudi Arabia is America’s No. 1 weapons buyer.
Between 2013 and 2017, Riyadh accounted for 18 percent of total U.S. arms sales or about $9 billion, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. On the strategic front, both sides even have a common enemy in the form of Iran pegging the interest together. With the more or less same aspirations of both Israel and the Saudi Arabia about the Persian state, President Donald Trump went on to pull out of JCPOA alongside imposing another series of pressing sanctions against Iran.
President of the United States of America Donald Trump has termed Saudi Arabia as a “spectacular ally” brushing away CIA’s report as premature assessment.
With the defeat of U.S funded rebels against the Assad regime in Syria, the Iranian influence into the Arabian Peninsula grew multiple folds. The alarm particularly rang for Saudi Arabia when Iranian backed Houthi militia gained the control of neighboring Yemen leading to further strengthening of ties between the U.S and Saudi Arabia.
Read more: Why Khashoggi’s assassination won’t damage US-Saudi ties?
Who Leaked the CIA Assessment of the Khashoggi’s Murder?
While the source of the news is yet to be identified but the fact that it was leaked to multiple top-tier publications of the United States simultaneously speak volumes of the motive which was intended. It is certain from the series of statements coming from President Trump and his aides that the administration is in no mood to sabotage the defense contracts, which as per Donald Trump worth around $110 billion dollars.
To let go the crime being ordered from the highest level of the Saudi government and the amount of power which Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman enjoys could be counterproductive for the U.S interests in the long run. Therefore it is also speculated that the report was leaked by the CIA itself to put the pressure from Congress and the public upon the Trump administration to take the matter more seriously.
The United States is the largest weapons supplier to Saudi Arabia mounting the billions of dollar keeping its economy going. Saudi Arabia is America’s No. 1 weapons buyer.
While the possibility cannot be substantiated, it is also not completely out of question. U.S agencies do have an undefined protocol of using the public pressure to make the government act in a certain way regarding a situation in case the government is reluctant in the first place. The precedence to it leads to the Water Gate scandal where the Nixon administration was trying its best to brush the issue under the carpet.
Read more: Suffering: Trump runs away from Khashoggi tape
When Federal Bureau of Investigation was pressurized to abandon investigating into the matter, Mark Felt, the associate director and the second highest ranked official of the agency, leaked the developments to the U.S press under the disguise of the informant “Deep Throat”. Even if the case is same here, Donald Trump has not succumbed to the plot and decided to stand with the ally Saudi Arabia which would well be appreciated by Riyadh.
But the real dilemma which the President is going to face will be upon the final submission of the CIA report about the matter to him. Because if that report also states the same conclusion as the leaked version of the assessment been made at the Capitol Hill in front of U.S lawmakers, then President would be asked to take the difficult step and call the spade a spade.