On June 10, Foreign Policy published its biweekly “It’s Debatable” column featuring Scowcroft Center deputy director Matthew Kroenig and New American Engagement Initiative senior fellow Emma Ashford assessing the latest news in international affairs.
In their latest column, they debate President Biden’s shifting policy toward US Gulf partners as Iran works to build the bomb.
What to do about friendly autocrats is a hard problem. To be sure, Gulf countries need to improve on human rights, but they otherwise support U.S. security and economic interests. It was a mistake to isolate them… I am glad to see Biden reverse course and attempt to preserve U.S. influence in this geopolitically important region.
I find the Biden team’s sudden shift on the region to be perplexing. It’s not just the overtures to Saudi Arabia (in which the Saudis get something they desperately want, and Americans get nothing). It’s these rumors that the White House is considering offering the UAE a security guarantee of the type it offers NATO allies. We don’t really know what that would entail.