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Trump is recklessly going all in on Saudi Arabia.

Mandel Ngan/Getty

The emerging conflict between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which could easily escalate into a war, presents a real dilemma for the United States. Both nations are important allies of the United States. Centcom, the U.S. military’s main base in the Middle East, housing more than 10,000 troops, is in Qatar. But this morning, Donald Trump made it clear that he is giving his full support to Saudi Arabia, echoing the Saudi government’s claim that Qatar has allied with terrorists.

Trump is playing a dangerous game. Saudi Arabia is making a bid to become the hegemonic power of the Middle East and also the head of global Islam. Trump tipping the scales for the Saudis not only hurts the U.S.’s longstanding relationship with Qatar, but emboldens the Saudis to take even more drastic measures. Given the kingdom’s long history of fostering extremism, it’s not at all clear that this move will help fight terrorism in any way.

Furthermore, it is unclear what the United States is getting out of this extra friendliness. As the Brookings Institution revealed yesterday, the much touted $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia that Trump claimed as an achievement looks to be a sham. As Bruce Riedel writes, “I’ve spoken to contacts in the defense business and on the Hill, and all of them say the same thing: There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts.”

It would appear that Trump is so desperate for a foreign policy victory that he is hitching America’s wagon to the train of Saudi expansionism. The consequences are likely to be dire.