The US Navy has restarted flight training for roughly 850 Saudi military students. Their training was halted after a lone Saudi gunman attacked and killed three sailors at Pensacola Naval Air Station back in December of 2019. Safety restrictions were added to ensure something like this never happens again, including disallowing foreign students from having personal firearms on base and restrictions on where the students can go on base. Each student had to agree to the new restrictions to be allowed back in the program.
Look, we learned a long time ago, back when we were wee little children that judging groups of people by the actions of one is really ridiculous. So in saying that, we’re sure that there are some really nice foreign students who just want to do their job and learn to protect their country. We’re also sure there are a bunch of foreign students who have less than positive vibes for the United States.
So what of it all? Is this a good idea? In our meager opinion, that question requires a bit of nuance to answer. Ask us if we should train foreign pilots in efforts to increase our ability to work together for joint operations. We’ll say yes all day. Narrow it down to countries who’ve had a number of their citizens carry out attacks on our citizens whenever and wherever they can. This country also won’t participate in joint operations for fear of angering its citizens?? Ok, we’re gonna say no. Whether it’s Britain or Petoria, the answer will always be no. That dude’s not an ally, it’s an acquaintance that you had a nice time with at a party one time. Now they won’t leave you alone despite all their buddies talkin’ smack, keep asking to bum cigarettes or dip, or they’ll get the next round. That’s what that country is.
If Britain or Petoria’s citizens had flown planes into our World Trade Centers and shot up a bunch of our sailors after we’ve trained their pilots and given those countries military aid for dozens of years, would we be as forgiving as we are of Saudi Arabia? Doubtful.
So we’ll ask since we wouldn’t do this with any other ally, why are we bowing to the Saudis? Why can’t with all the oil money and all the military aid and previous generations of pilots trained by us, can’t they spin up their own schools for flight training?