For over four decades, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has nurtured a special relationship with the Arab Gulf countries. The resulting ties have helped formulate common strategic goals with regards to the twin pursuit of security and stability in the region. However, the past few years have seen mounting pressure on this relationship, as the Obama administration’s unwillingness to commit to decisive military action in Syria and its pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran have fuelled perceptions of a U.S. retrenchment vis-à-vis the Gulf.
The Brookings Doha Center is pleased to host a discussion on the future of U.S.-GCC security cooperation and the implications for the broader Middle East. What will the security environment of the Gulf look like over the next years? What role can or should the U.S. play in this security architecture? Are the Gulf countries capable of taking the lead in regional security affairs and protect collective interests? Can Iran be considered a constructive partner, and can it be incorporated into regional security considerations?