In an interview with the Washington Post published today, President Donald Trump touched upon a variety of topics — from his frustration with the Federal Reserve, over Mueller’s Russia probe, to climate change — but perhaps most significantly Trump floated the idea of removing United States troops from the Middle East.
According to Donald Trump, the dropping price of oil and the fact that more oil is being produced at home is enough of a reason to pull out of the Middle East in and of itself. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, in wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder, and as the Yemen war continues to erupt, Trump keeps thanking Saudi Arabia for falling oil prices. At the same time, the president is crediting himself and his relationship with the brutal Saudi regime for the price drop. Some reports, however, state that Trump’s policies have had little to no impact on the oil market.
But when it comes to maintaining presence in the war-torn region, oil is becoming “less and less of a reason,” according to the president.
“Oil is becoming less and less of a reason because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced. So, you know, all of a sudden it gets to a point where you don’t have to stay there.”
Seemingly in the same breath, Trump asserted that the United States actually have a reason to maintain presence in the region. “Now, are we going to stay in that part of the world? One reason to is Israel.” When it comes to US policy in the world’s most volatile region, the Trump administration appears to be “treading a well-worn path,” according to Al Jazeera. Having campaigned on relatively anti-interventionist foreign policy by Republican Party standards, Trump has delivered on two key campaign promises pertaining to the Middle East: withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and opening an embassy in Jerusalem.
Analysis: President Trump’s full Washington Post interview transcript, annotated https://t.co/0YC270px3n
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 27, 2018
“Trump is pouring gasoline on a Middle East in flames already, with his Iran and Jerusalem decisions” is how former CIA, White House, and Pentagon staffer Bruce Riedel explained the maneuvers to the New Yorker, which noted that both of Trump’s Middle East decisions have been condemned by world leaders, notably French, German, and British politicians.
In the president’s mind, so it seems, US policy toward Israel and Saudi Arabia are intertwined. In a recent interview, while defending his stance on the Khashoggi killing — allegedly ordered and directed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman himself — Trump explained that “Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” according to the Times of Israel.