What Next

Why Biden Can’t Ice Out Saudi Arabia

The kingdom buys its way out of the dog house.


Episode Notes

On the campaign trail, Joe Biden called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” and said its ruling regime should be held accountable for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But now, rising oil prices have caused President Biden to soften his tone and plan a visit to Saudi Arabia next month. How much can the U.S. really demand of its allies?

Guest: Gregory Gause, head of the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Elena Schwartz, and Carmel Delshad, with help from Anna Rubanova.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.