Donald Trump is, once again, in hot water after one of the most successful periods in his presidency. Over the last few weeks, the economy kept its great numbers, he managed to make a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, and achieved the highly-anticipated conservative majority on the Supreme Court. However, the horrible case of Saudi Arabia and the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is putting him in a really bad situation. After all, any decision he makes will have unpleasant ramifications

As everyone knows, Saudi Arabia has always been one of the most uncomfortable allies of the United States, given the fact that this is one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world.

However, both nations maintain a convenient alliance, not only because of the light crude, but also because the Saudis are the faction that protects America’s interests in the Middle East. Additionally, this geostrategic role makes the Muslim Kingdom the main weapons customer.

Considering that the Middle East is experiencing one of its most convulsing moments with the Syrian war and Iran’s expansionist ambitions, the U.S. needs the Saudi force more than ever. Naturally, this is the main reason why Donald Trump has been so extremely weak in condemning the assassination of Khashoggi. After all, he knows this is a moment where the relationship between his administration and Saudi Arabia needs to be rock solid.

Donald Trump shows weakness if he doesn’t sanction Saudis

By not punishing the Muslim Kingdom, Donald Trump would be hurting his administration in two ways. On the one hand, it would be showing a sign of weakness to a Prince Mohammad Bin Salman that so far has shown a tyrannical vein despite his reformer fame. On the other hand, the free world will see his inaction as the clearest indication that he doesn’t care about human rights and press freedom.

Of course, if Donald Trump punishes the Muslim Kingdom, this would probably destabilize their influence in the Middle East conflict. Therefore, the worst case scenario would be closer than ever and the chaos in the region would get intensified. In fact, the U.S. allies would be the most harmed parties in this geopolitical chess game.

Donald Trump could have a hard time trying to control Saudi Prince

Knowing how delicate this situation is, Saudi Arabia conveniently admitted that members of its intelligence killed Khashoggi without the Prince’s awareness. Logically, this would give the White House a chance at condemning without taking more severe action. Nevertheless, this would also be difficult to pull off because it would look as if the Muslim Kingdom got away with murder and knew how to manipulate the president of the United States.

Getting to this point, Donald Trump and the entire world are watching the Saudi Prince is learn to play the game in the most Machiavellian way. The question that now arises is whether he could be controlled as easily as his father or whether he would take another path.

The answer to this question would probably determine the future of the Middle East. Meanwhile, the Trump administration needs to decide between chaos or an unprecedented display of weakness. All of this just a couple of weeks before the midterm elections.