June 20, 2017

Washington’s Role and Interests in the GCC Crisis

June 20, 2017

U.S. President Donald J. Trump‘s visit to Saudi Arabia underscored the success of Saudi outreach to the Trump administration and the White House’s determination to restore strategic partnerships in the region. But recent measures by key Arab states to pressure Qatar over policies they view as undermining their national security greatly complicate the agreement among regional states to cooperate more closely with the United States and each other on counterterrorism and other important issues.

Will Washington move toward a neutral approach that urges a return to the status quo ante or continue to press for changes in Doha’s policies and conduct? How can the United States best maintain its relationships with key Gulf Arab allies as tensions mount within the GCC? Did the Trump visit serve as a catalyst for the crisis and isolation of Qatar? How will these dynamics affect the calculations of Washington’s Gulf partners in other areas? How will Iran respond and how will that affect Washington’s tougher line toward Tehran? What is the future of the all-important efforts to end terrorist financing? Finally, what additional pitfalls lie ahead between Washington and the Gulf Arab states?

This AGSIW panel addressed these issues and more.


David Des Roches, Senior Military Fellow, Near East South Asia Center for Security Studies, National Defense University

Ellen Laipson, Distinguished Fellow and President Emeritus, Stimson Center

Hamad Althunayyan, PhD Candidate, University of Maryland, College Park

Ali Vaez, Senior Iran Analyst, International Crisis Group

Hussein Ibish, Senior Resident Scholar, AGSIW (Moderator)