It was recently revealed that the United States military is in the process of removing the Patriot antimissile system it sent to Saudi Arabia following the drone strike on Aramco facilities in September, 2019.
According to reports, the military personnel who were deployed to the region after the attacks are also leaving, two U.S. jet fighter squadrons have left and the U.S. military may soon decide to cut back on U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf.
This military presence was largely seen as a deterrent against Iranian aggression, and Pentagon officials explained that the changes are because Iran is no longer “an immediate threat to American strategic interests.”
However, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has indicated recently that the antagonism of Iran has not subsided. It seems that what has changed is America’s desire or need to protect foreign oil assets.
With oil prices that are actually considered too low for the American oil industry, there is no strategic need for the U.S. to prevent a military escalation in foreign oil regions.
At this moment, it is not in the U.S. strategic interest to risk American troops or commit military strength to prevent an oil price spike.
Moreover, the Trump administration may be using an end to this military support as a sign to Saudi Arabia that it does not appreciate Saudi actions that have recently contributed to such low prices.