Aftandilian in The Arab Weekly on US-Saudi Relations

Gregory Aftandilian, Lecturer at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, published a recent Op-Ed on United States President Donald Trump’s efforts to salvage the US-Saudi relationship after the Pensacola killings.

Aftandilian’s Op-Ed, entitled “Trump Eager to Preserve US-Saudi Ties After Pensacola Shooting,” was published in The Arab Weekly on December 15, 2019.

From the text of the article:

Since the killing of three US Navy personnel by a Saudi aviation student in Pensacola, Florida, US President Donald Trump has gone out of his way to keep the US-Saudi relationship intact as much as possible.

Shortly after the shootings December 6, Trump said Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had called him to offer his sincere condolences. Trump said King Salman “will be involved in taking care of families and loved ones.” He emphasised that both the Saudi king and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz “are devastated by what took place in Pensacola.”

Trump tweeted that King Salman said the “Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter and that this person in no way, shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.”

Trump’s words, however, did little to dampen the outcry over the killings. The Republican governor of Florida, Rick Scott, told the Trump-friendly media outlet Fox News that “we need to suspend this programme” of training foreign nationals in US military bases.

Gregory Aftandilian, a consultant, scholar, and lecturer, is an adjunct faculty member at Boston University and American University.  He is also an associate of the Middle East Center at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and a Senior Fellow for the Middle East at the Center for National Policy in Washington, D.C.  He spent over 21 years in government service, most recently on Capitol Hill where he was foreign policy adviser to Congressman Chris Van Hollen (2007-2008), professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and foreign policy adviser to Senator Paul Sarbanes (2000-2004), and foreign policy fellow to the late Senator Edward Kennedy (1999).