We have unwritten agreements to defend Saudi Arabia and Israel, which keeps us heavily involved militarily in the Middle East. But when the US becomes so involved, we are the real losers — especially the American taxpayers, who are forced to finance this global military empire. Plus, our security guarantee to Saudi Arabia and Israel creates a kind of moral hazard: there is little incentive for these two countries to push for more peaceful solutions in the region because the US military underwrites their reckless behavior. It is an unhealthy relationship that should come to an end.
If Saudi Arabia and Israel are so determined to extend their influence in the region and share such similar goals, why don’t they work together to stabilize the region without calling on the US for back-up? It might be healthy for them to cooperate and leave us out of it.
One of Osama bin Laden’s stated goals was to bankrupt the US by drawing it into endless battles in the Middle East and south Asia. Unfortunately, even from beyond the grave he continues to successfully implement his policy. But should we really be helping him do so? If Saudi Arabia wants to pull back from its deep and unhealthy relationship with the United States we should welcome such a move. Then we might return to peace and commerce rather than sink under entangling alliances.