As President Barack Obama prepares for his travel to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, many have asked: What is the purpose of this trip? Far-reaching geopolitics are at stake as fissures among members of the Gulf Cooperation Council emerge over issues related to Egypt, Syria, and Iran. The new dynamics that result from this regional interplay will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on US policy in the region. Some analysts have suggested that President Obama use this trip to move the US-Gulf relationship beyond simple reassurance.
Ambassador Richard LeBaron, senior fellow with the Atlantic Council, spoke with professor Greg Gause, professor of political science at the University of Vermont and a nonresident senior fellow with the Brookings Doha Center, in his second MENASource Discussion over these issues concerning the Arab Gulf countries. Dr. Gause outlines the tension between US policy and Saudi Arabia, Saudi’s reluctant leadership in the absence of a sense of security, Qatar’s ambiguous foreign policy motivations, the possibility of a Saudi-Iranian rapproachment, and more. For the full conversation, please watch the video below.