As Donald Trump is about to enter the White House, President Barack Obama played his last card in an attempt to achieve one last glory. He condemned Israeli settlements and expelled Russian diplomats but these are just formalities that do not influence the essence of Russian expansion or halt Israeli settlements.
For Trump, agreeing with the Russians will be important during his presidential term. For those who’ve known the Russians well and studied them, like Henry Kissinger did, there are analyses of anticipated roles for the Russians. However how will things be between Gulf countries and the US during Trump’s presidential era especially after the six Gulf countries proved their ability to organize differences regarding some affairs - as seen through Oman’s return to the Gulf bosom by participating in the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism? How will Trump deal with Gulf countries?
Perhaps the most important statement made by Trump’s team is related to Trump’s real intention to establish an alliance that includes Gulf countries, Egypt and Turkey to limit the tyrannical tide of Iran, prepare the circumstances to besiege terrorism and secure Gulf countries. The project had been rejected by the isolationist president Obama. Trump’s intended plans in the region will serve the interest and security of Gulf countries. We may suffer from the consequences of the Iranian agreement and of the spread of sectarianism in the region more than before; however, the difference will be in the presence of a strong president like Trump who has a governmental team that is highly aware of Iran’s tricks, unlike Obama’s and US Secretary of State John Kerry’s dangerous inaction towards Iran and its evil axis.
Trump is before a basic challenge that’s represented in including Shiite terrorism within the campaign against terrorism in order to reverse Obama’s sectarian theory which only views terrorism as a Sunni product as Shiite militias “fight ISIS”Turki Aldakhil
There’s no use of this criticism but let’s recall the unprecedented surrender by Obama’s administration to Iran’s mullahs. It surrendered despite the fact that Iran has established more than 40 militias that are trained, funded and led by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Meanwhile, the sectarian popular mobilization forces in Iraq represent one of the biggest threats confronting Gulf countries. Iran, and the axis in support of it in Iraq, has recruited tens of thousands of ordinary people and sent them to battle fronts and it’s now saying it will go to Syria and then go to fight in Yemen.
Perhaps these hungry wolves were let out against Gulf countries to carry out terror attacks and avenge from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and they may have targeted Kuwait. They will also not spare the rest of the countries which are working with Saudi Arabia within the Arab coalition that aims to restore legitimacy in Yemen. Trump is before a basic challenge that’s represented in including Shiite terrorism within the campaign against terrorism in order to reverse Obama’s sectarian theory which only views terrorism as a Sunni product as Shiite militias “fight ISIS”.
In a significant study entitled “The Gulf’s security, current challenges and future scenarios,” Doctor Maryam Sultan Lootah detects the real threats targeting Gulf security in the foreseeable future. The study says: “Overcoming the state of weakness and launching work towards achieving security in its humanitarian concept will only be achieved through an Arab cooperative relation which guarantees providing each Arab country with regional security depth that makes it stronger if it’s subjected to any foreign threat.” According to Lootah, there is a Gulf domestic aspect that must be counted on and it is the “political stability” of Gulf countries. Of course this is important as domestic unity of Gulf societies with their political regimes contributes to raising the level of confrontation against Iranian interferences especially as the opposing media outlets devise catastrophic division scenarios. However, sources from among Trump’s team quickly responded and said divisions in the region are not part of Trump’s political agenda.
The Gulf’s future with the next American administration is likely to witness more cooperation than the previous phases of Obama’s presidential terms especially considering the mutual affairs and the fact that security and political cooperation is necessary to fortify the region from terrorism in its Sunni and Shiite forms.
Trump and his team are aware that the Iranian tide destroys America’s historical interests, as Henry Kissinger himself puts it. Therefore, amending the Iranian nuclear agreement and clipping the wings of mullahs and their regime secures US interests especially that Iran serves Russia’s presence in the Gulf and in the Mediterranean region. This weakens American historical domination and makes US allies less present and less influential, and when moderation subsides, the powers of darkness and murder rise!
This article was first published in Al Sharq al-Awsat on January 03, 2016.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.