Washington Times reports, a day late, that the U.S. will pull all its out of Saudi Arabia by the end of the summer. While I agree with the move and think it will have a marginal impact on lessening tensions in the region, I find it rather ironic that this is, in effect, a win for al Qaeda. Their ostensible reason for the 9/11 bombings was to protest US military presence in the Holy Land. Now we’re leaving. I’m not suggesting that we stay in order to spite Osama, but his victory is a rather unfortunate byproduct of the move.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John says:

    Console yourself with the fact that it will be rather difficult for Al Qaeda to claim they chased us out of the holy land.

    Of note, there are rumblings that the US must leave Iraq because that is holy ground too. How long before this Arab racism will stop masquerading as Islamic purity?

  2. James Joyner says:

    They’re different?

  3. Nick says:

    I find the whole circle of events to be quite amusing:

    –Hussein invaded Kuwait
    –which induced us to attack him
    –which induced us to use SA as a staging ground
    –which angered UBL
    –which led to various attacks, culminating in 9-11
    –which led us to the war on terrot
    –which led us to saddam
    –who was thusly ousted

  4. MommaBear says:

    It will, instead of “leaving Saudi Arabia in defeat”, put us in the position of being able to lean on the Sauds, which, if ObL were still with us, would anger him even more!

  5. James Joyner says:

    No, I think leaving makes sense all the way around. And, clearly, our victories in Afghanistan and Iraq should be rather definitive proof that we haven’t been defeated–to any rational observer. But, assuming he still has a face to save, this does sort of allow Osama to do just that.