Report: US, Saudi Near Historic Defense Pact

Report: US, Saudi Near Historic Defense Pact
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The Facts

  • The White House announced Monday that US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has made significant progress in talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud and other Saudi officials over a bilateral defense agreement.

  • Following Sunday's meeting between Sullivan and the Gulf kingdom's de facto ruler, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said both countries are "closer than we've ever been" on a pact.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

That the US-Saudi talks on a security agreement that includes the normalization of Israeli ties reached a near-final stage is a major coup for US diplomacy. By reducing its demand for a two-state solution to a "credible path," Riyadh bolstered its role in settling the Gaza war, while Washington prevented the conflict from escalating through talks with Iran. With its impressive comeback in the Middle East, the US now has a unique opportunity to establish regional peace and stability.

Establishment-critical narrative

For months, the US sought to lure Saudi Arabia with a security deal to make them sign a peace agreement with Israel. Washington reckons that such a trilateral pact will thwart both the Palestinians' quest for an independent state and the rapprochement between the Saudis and Iran. They are wrong, however, since the Arab public firmly rejects such a betrayal of the Palestinian cause and will rise against any government that dares to normalize ties with the Israeli regime.

Narrative C

It's a smart move by the Saudis to keep the US engaged in talks about boosting its deterrence capability and normalizing its Israel ties. Following the UAE's example, Riyadh aims to counter Iran's growing influence without openly opposing Tehran. By potentially normalizing its relations with Israel, Riyadh is pursuing a strategy of containment and engagement with Tehran.

Metaculus Prediction

Establishment split



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