By making the strategic decision to restore the US relationship with Saudi Arabia, by far the most important Arab country, the US created new leverage that puts it in position to advance US interests in 4 core areas.
Here’s the introduction:
Here’s the link to the rest of the article. And there is one big way where this policy could go wrong that I mention at the end.
In an article for The Washington Institute for Near East Policy I analyze President Trump’s focus on rebuilding alliances with traditional US allies in the Middle East.
For two core reasons:
#1 – “Trump’s position makes Iranian adventurism throughout the Middle East far less likely. It also decreases the temptation of U.S. allies to engage in counter-productive and destabilizing unilateral military operations of their own out of a perceived need to project strength in the face of Iran.”
#2 – “by restoring alliances with traditional allies in the Middle East, Trump’s approach is far more likely to get significant contributions from them, furthering his America First agenda.”
Here’s the Link to the article.
I’ve got a piece out for a great new website on National Security.
I make the basic policy argument that a US prioritization of economic empowerment policies in the Middle East is ultimately the best way to combat the inter-related problems of the EU migration crisis and the rising appeal of Jihadism.
Today President-Elect Trump announced he has chosen Mr. Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobile, as top US Diplomat. This kind of innovative new thinking is why so many people are excited about the strategic possibilities of the Trump administration.
Four Points to Consider:
I have a new article out today explaining why I am optimistic about the strategic possibilities for the US-Saudi relationship under President Trump:
Here is the link.
The most informed voices on Saudi politics are quite often those working there over a long-term period, usually in business of some sort.* When there in that capacity, you are part of the system, and Saudis will interact and engage with you, tell you things etc, in a way that won’t happen with journalists or academics there for a 1 or 2 week visit.
For that reason, I place a very high premium on the opinions of expats in Saudi Arabia for work and mid-level/ rising Saudi managers. A Western reader with elite Arabic skills and who has spent several years in Riyadh for business sent me the below comment after reading my August interview with Greg Gause.
I thought it was too insightful not to share with readers and he graciously allows me to post for RWA readers. Highlights by me:
*Which is also why I consider this book, by an academic, who first worked in Saudi for business, one of the very best books I’ve read on Saudi politics to date.