According to Mr. Riedel, Trump’s claims of success were all hokum:
“I’ve spoken to contacts in the defense business and on the Hill, and all of them say the same thing: There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts. Many are offers that the defense industry thinks the Saudis will be interested in someday. So far nothing has been notified to the Senate for review. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the arms sales wing of the Pentagon, calls them “intended sales.” None of the deals identified so far are new, all began in the Obama administration.”
The scholar also made note that Trump’s much heralded Riyadh Summit actually made the threat of middle eastern violence more likely by ostracizing long time American ally Qatar. The Middle Eastern nation hosts more than ten thousand U.S. soldiers and is also the headquarters of U.S. Central Command, the U.S. Defense Department’s nerve center for the Middle East.
Qatar often serves as a mediator due to its unique role in the region. Because of this, some have called Qatar the Switzerland of the Gulf. Qatar has ties with the Taliban and terrorist groups like Hamas (they were just expelled today) while simultaneously maintaining good ties with Israel, the U.S., and Iran. It also maintains the Al-Jazeera television network which allegedly chafes Qatar’s Arab allies according to Mr. Riedel’s posting.