Responding to the Saudi Oil Attack: A Challenge for U.S. Policy

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After months of increasing tensions, the contest between Iran and the United States escalated dramatically with the spectacular air attack on Saudi oil installations. So far, the Trump administration has sent mixed signals about its response, with the president warning that America’s military was “locked and loaded” and then suggesting that energy independence means events in the Gulf no longer affect U.S. interests. While the ultimate decision has powerful implications for Gulf security, it will also reverberate everywhere that America and its allies face off against Iran and its local proxies, from Yemen to Iraq to Lebanon to Gaza.
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