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Saudi Visit, Senate Vote

March 20, 2018

International drama and political showmanship meet on Tuesday.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud is visiting the nation and will meet at the White House Tuesday with Trump,

The summit comes as the Senate is preparing to vote on a measure that reflects a bipartisan souring on U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen.  It needs noting that Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said on the floor Monday that a vote on a privileged resolution directing the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Yemen is expected this week.

The timing here could be awkward.  As are the politics of the matter

Salman and his fellow Saudi leaders would have to find a way to replace American expertise and muscle should Congress require American forces to be removed. The resolution is being pushed by Senators, Lee, Sanders, and Murphy.  A bi-partisan mix for sure, but how much thought is given to the reason to make a proxy war in Yemen more viable given the growing threat from Iran is hard to assess.  That may be a harsh way of saying it, but there is a truly legitimate reason for the military mission.   That is not to say there is not a human tragedy unfolding and efforts need to be made to deal with it, or that better plans in months past were not warranted.   But needing to put brakes on Iran is clear to see.

Opposing this move by Cornyn are Senate Majority Leader McConnell along with the Pentagon. The vote will be held, if Cornyn’s prediction holds, while the Saudi leader is on American soil during his multi-city visit.

CP hopes that long-range policy-making wins out over short-term political showmanship.

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