Inside Story

Why is the US removing military assets from Saudi Arabia?

Washington’s decision to pull out Patriot missile batteries from Saudi Arabia has made the kingdom’s leadership nervous.

The United States is removing its Patriot missile defence system and other weapons from Saudi Arabia.

President Donald Trump said the move is part of an effort to scale back on a military presence that he says does not benefit the US.

US weapons and fighter jets were sent to the kingdom last year after Saudi Aramco oil facilities were attacked.

They were also intended as a deterrent as tensions rose between the US and Iran.

But the reduction in the US military presence is believed by some to be based on assessments that Iran no longer poses an immediate threat to strategic American interests.

So what has changed exactly? And is oil politics at play? 

Presenter: Peter Dobbie


Joel Rubin – President of the Washington Strategy Group

Mahjoob Zweiri – Director of Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University

Mohammad Marandi – Head of the American Studies Department at Tehran University