When President Barack Obama visits Saudi Arabia on April 20-21 and meets with Gulf Cooperation Council leaders, he will be tackling one of the most important, but deeply strained, U.S. international relationships. Although some Americans, including Obama, have questioned how strategically important the Middle East remains to the United States, both U.S. policy and interests continue to reflect a strong engagement in and commitment to the region in general, and the Gulf area in particular. Yet the trust of some Middle Eastern partners has been frayed, specifically among the Arab Gulf states. In these societies, anxieties are widespread that the United States may have abandoned these countries to their fate in a region they fear is being increasingly dominated by an ascendant Iran. These concerns form the immediate backdrop in which the U.S.-GCC dialogue and relationship will continue to develop, and the primary task for both sides is finding ways to offset them.