Pariah with benefits: US aiding Saudi defense despite chill

President Joe Biden is distancing himself from Saudi Arabia’s rulers over their war in Yemen and rights abuses. That includes Biden announcing Thursday he would make good on a campaign pledge to cut U.S. support for a five-year Saudi-led military campaign in neighboring Yemen. But Biden and his officials are also making clear they don’t plan to sever ties with the world’s oil giant. That includes helping Saudi Arabia defend itself against outside attacks. Biden’s stance reflects the complexity of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. Both countries see maintaining some aspects of military, counterterrorism and security cooperation as vital to their own security.