PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — University of West Florida Professor Dr. Jacob Shively teaches and has written a book about foreign policy in the Obama administration and is writing another. He says he could not believe it when he found out a Saudi national was behind the NAS mass shooting last Friday. He says he briefed Saudi students at NAS back in 2016 and 2017.
“I was shocked because most of the students in the program are very interested in improving their careers and getting to know the United States.” Dr. Shively said. “They are also vetted by the U.S. coming over, and their own governments usually nominate them.”
Dr. Shively says the United States has a pretty good relationship with Saudi Arabia at this time. He says he does not expect the relationship to change because of the recent mass shooting. But he does expect more vetting when it comes to international students in these programs.
“It does raise some questions, like do we need different procedures when you have a large population of foreign nationals on the base,” Dr. Shively said. “Maybe that changes the security environment in multiple ways we have not anticipated.”
Shively also says on a local level, we could see fewer foreign nationals participating in these programs.