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How a Journalist's Disappearance Could Affect U.S.-Saudi Ties

Oct 16, 2018 | 15:38 GMT
Turkish police enter the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 15 to conduct a search for journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing since he entered the premises on Oct. 2.

Turkish police enter the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 15 to conduct a search for journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing since he entered the premises on Oct. 2. Washington could take various courses of action against Riyadh over Khashoggi's disappearance.

(CHRIS McGRATH/Getty Images)

Just how far will the U.S.-Saudi fallout over the disappearance of journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi go? There is a lot at stake: The United States needs Saudi Arabia to balance oil markets, combat Iran, fight terrorism and purchase arms. Saudi Arabia, in turn, needs American weapons and defense cooperation, access to U.S. technology and investment, and U.S. protection against a resurgent Tehran. It all means that the geopolitical ties that bind Riyadh and Washington are likely to remain tight. But with congressional rhetoric hot and media outrage at a fever pitch, American repercussions against the kingdom are likely in some form -- though the Saudis aren't devoid of their own courses of action either....

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