Analysis: ‘Standing with Saudi Arabia’ example of Trump’s strategic clarity

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US President Donald Trump’s “Standing with Saudi Arabia” statement revealed two weeks ago is an example of strategic clarity and suggests that he is selling his foreign policy directly to the American people, an analysis published by a leading magazine has claimed.

Writing in Tablet magazine, Tony Badran writes that the lead paragraph of Trump’s statement identifies Iran’s destructive regional role, and correctly assigns to it responsibility for the extended war in Yemen.


“The country of Iran is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen,” the statement says. According to Badran, the president sets a tone of strategic clarity and the criticism of Washington’s foreign policy experts misses this point entirely.

“What they found crude and distasteful is precisely what made the president’s statement so powerful,” Badran writes.

War in Yemen

Badran also rejects the notion that it was Riyadh’s intervention that “pushed” the Houthis into Iran’s arms.

“No sane government would accept a growing Iranian missile threat on its border… More importantly, it is distinctly in the American interest to prevent Iran and its proxy militias, including sanctioned terror groups like Hezbollah and its various tributaries,” he writes.

Referring to the Trump statement again, Badran writes: “After concisely laying out America’s regional interests, the president’s statement proceeds to elucidate the importance of America’s longstanding alliance with Saudi Arabia in concrete terms that explain its relevance to the American people”.

“The US-Saudi alliance is important not just for regional reasons or the support it offers for some abstract strategic rationale,” he says quoting the statement as saying that the Saudis “have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran.”

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