The Passive Foreign Policy President

As the 32 year old Saudi Arabian Prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) advances as the country’s rising star, the Trump administration remains fixated on a hands-off approach when dealing in Saudi Arabian affairs. Although this policy is comfortably implemented it may not be in the best interest of the United States as it loosens U.S. leverage in the Middle East.

According to journalist Benaim and Katulis, given the growing youth population in Saudi Arabia, MBS has undertaken both risky and ambitious attempts in modernizing and diversifying the Saudi Arabian economy. While these reforms are incredible leaps forward by the Saudi Arabian government for its people, further obstacles are emerging throughout the Middle East which beg for international attention and discussion. According to New Republic magazine, the Trump administration has done little in welcoming topics of human right violations and religious freedom into the conversation. Now is the time to shift the conversation from economics to diplomacy and stress our partner in acting more rationally on crucial regional issues—especially in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. These countries are falling apart from internal conflicts and creating situations of tension between the major powers.

Rather than signaling an adherent allegiance with the Saudi Arabian leadership, the Trump administration should consider shifting its leverage and pressing the Saudi government to end the war in Yemen as soon as possible.

By Gabriela Escamilla, World Affairs Council Intern
Photo Credit: The New Republic