Among the few influential Congress members to push back against Saudi Arabia and Washington's decades-long close partnership has been Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
This week it was widely reported that as part of US efforts to achieve Saudi-Israel normalization, the White House could strike a new defense pact with Riyadh, which would require American military intervention if Saudi Arabia were to ever come under direct attack.
"Under such an agreement, the United States and Saudi Arabia would generally pledge to provide military support if the other country is attacked in the region or on Saudi territory," the NY Times reported earlier this week.
The report said, based on a US official, that such an agreement would resemble current military pacts with Japan and South Korea.
Sen. Murphy on the heels of this reporting is warning that the US shouldn't commit "American blood" to Saudi Arabia.
He posed in a Wednesday CNN interview when discussing US-Saudi relations, "Is this the kind of stable regime that we should commit American blood to defending?"
According to a description of the CNN segment in Responsible Statecraft:
Appearing on CNN, Murphy said that he supported the idea of the Biden administration brokering a deal in the Middle East, saying it would be "good for the United States if there is peace between the Gulf and in particular between Saudi Arabia and Israel," but questioned the price that Washington is willing to pay to accomplish that objective.
Murphy ticked off a list of human rights abuses that Saudi Arabia has been linked to, specifically the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the recent reported killing of hundreds of migrants crossing over the country’s border with Yemen. Under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s leadership, Saudi Arabia also launched the war on Yemen, which continues to be one of the greatest humanitarian disasters in the world today. In 2018, Murphy was one of the lead co-sponsors of a War Powers resolution that would have ended the United States’ involvement in that war.
And addressing the reports that the Biden administration is pursuing a defense pact with the kingdom, Murphy continued, "I would be very wary of committing the United States, through a treaty, to the defense of Saudi Arabia."
Various polls continue to show the American public has soured on the historic US-Saudi partnership, which has been based largely on oil and weapons, especially after recent revelations of Riyadh's involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks.