The Corner


In removing our troops from Saudi Arabia, we are realizing one of the important strategic benefits of our invasion of Iraq. Here’s what I wrote in a cover story about the Saudis back in February 25, 2002:

“As for U.S. troops, it is yet another of the contradictions of the current situation that it is Osama bin Laden’s prescription that makes the most strategic sense in the long run: pulling out of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis wouldn’t let us fly missions against the Taliban from Saudi territory, and are resistant to letting us fly bombing missions to enforce the no-fly zones in Iraq. What use are our bases? In a post-Saddam world, the U.S. could withdraw its security guarantee from the Saudis, fulfill its basing requirements elsewhere—Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, even Iraq—and give the Saudis some time to think about the Bush doctrine: Supporting and tolerating terrorists makes you a terrorist.”


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