Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera 9 May 2020

Why is the US removing military assets from Saudi Arabia?


The United States is removing its Patriot anti-air missiles, and other weapons systems from Saudi Arabia.
Donald Trump says it is part of an effort to scale back on a military presence that he says doesn't benefit the U.S.
American weapons and fighter jets were sent to the kindgom last year after Saudi-Aramco oil facilities were attacked.
They were also intended as a deterrent, as tensions rose between Tehran and Washington.
But the reduction in the U.S. military presence is believed by some to be based on assessments Iran no longer poses an immediate threat to U.S. strategic interests.
So what's exactly changed?
And is oil politics at play?

Presenter: Peter Dobbie

Joel Rubin, President of the Washington Strategy Group.
Mahjoob Zweiri, Director of Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University.
Mohammad Marandi, Head of the American Studies Department at Tehran University.

They are a legacy of World War Two - a symbol of U.S. commitment to protecting its European allies.
But U.S. military forces stationed in Germany are reportedly going to be sharply reduced.
President Donald Trump plans to pull out 9,500 American soldiers by September - reducing the number to 25,000.
Troops will either be redeployed elsewhere or sent home.
It's being seen as the latest twist in relations between Washington and Berlin.
Tensions between the two sides have been strained over a number of disagreements.
But defence spending has been of particular concern for Donald Trump.
He's repeatedly pressed Germany to increase its military budget.
And he's criticised NATO allies for relying on the U.S. to shoulder the costs of maintaining the alliance.
But why is this move coming now?
And should U.S. allies and NATO be concerned?

Presenter: Laura Brennan

Andrew Bacevich, U.S. military historian and Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University.
Ulrich Brueckner political analyst and Professor in European Studies at Stanford University Berlin
Pavel Felgenhauer, defence analyst.
The United States is facing criticism around the world for its latest threats against the International Criminal Court.
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order sanctioning the ICC's staff and their families.
The US, which is not a member of the Hague-based tribunal, is angry at investigations into suspected war crimes in Afghanistan that could implicate its soldiers.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the ICC a "kangaroo court".
The International Criminal Court has rejected the sanctions as an unprecedented attack.
So, what's behind president Trump's move?
And what will be its impact on international justice?

Presenter: Imran Khan


Fergal Gaynor - Counsel at the International Criminal Court and legal representative of victims in Afghanistan

Brett Schaefer - Jay Kingham Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Toby Cadman - International Human Rights Lawyer and Co-Founder of Guernica 37 at International Justice Chambers.
Donald Trump is often called the Tweeter in Chief.
Twitter is the U.S. president's main social media platform.
It's where he announces policies to more than 80 million followers, and where he's attacked opponents and spread misinformation.
Twitter is now in the president's firing line.
It placed a fact-check warning on two Trump tweets that falsely claimed postal ballots would lead to voter fraud.
The president accused the platform - in a tweet - of stifling free speech and silencing conservative voices.
But Twitter has been criticised for refusing to act on other Trump posts, such as those repeating a debunked claim that a TV host and former congressman was involved in the death of an intern.
With the U.S. election just six months away, can social media companies balance freedom of speech while rooting out misinformation?

Presenter: Bernard Smith

Adolfo Franco - Republican strategist and former adviser to Senator John McCain
Derrick Plummer - Democratic strategist and former regional press secretary for the Democratic National Committee
Jim Anderson - Chief Executive of Social Flow, a technology firm dealing with social media content for companies
The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on the International Criminal Court. But why now? Start Here looks into the case.

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