World Politics Review quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Resident Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Bilal Y. Saab on the role of Gulf countries in the ongoing crisis in Iraq:

Bilal Y. Saab, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, agrees. “From a political standpoint, I don’t see any new attempt by [Saudi Arabia and Kuwait] to crack down on financial support,” he says, “not today, not tomorrow.” The domestic costs are too high. “Many of these networks are hard to track down and do not operate overtly,” he says, noting the lack of reliable data on Gulf funding to jihadi groups. “But the bigger reason is that such an attempt is too politically sensitive and risky.”


Saab doesn’t think the advance of ISIS will force Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries to revise their approaches to Syria’s civil war. Instead, they will focus on Iraq to “formulate policies to better defend themselves against blowback.” Riyadh “can strengthen its intelligence cooperation with Washington and Baghdad. It has influence over some of the Sunni tribes in Iraq and can use it to direct their militancy against groups like ISIS.”

Read the full article here.