Author Topic: Gulf states see Obama's tepid response as a sign of weakness  (Read 146 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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Gulf states see Obama's tepid response as a sign of weakness
« on: March 22, 2014, 12:35:59 PM »
Gulf states see Obama’s tepid response to Ukraine crisis as sign of weakness

Special to

LONDON — The Gulf Cooperation Council has seen the U.S. handling of
 Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as evidence of President Barack Obama’s
 weakness, a leading analyst said.

Riad Kahwaji, chief executive officer of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, asserted that the tepid U.S. response to the Russian seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea reinforced the GCC image of a declining America.

Kahwaji, regarded as close to the GCC leadership, said the crisis in Ukraine lowered expectations of Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia on March 22.

“The wide growing perception in the Middle East region, as well as other parts of the world, is that the United States appears to be a fading power incapable of protecting the interests of its allies and unable to stand up to bold challenges,” Kahwaji said.

“The ongoing situation in Ukraine could not have come at a worse time for Washington because it has only reinforced the perception of a weak America on the retreat.”

In an analysis for the consultant Eurasia, Kahwaji cited GCC, and
 particularly Saudi concerns, over Obama’s rapproachment with Iran as well as
 his refusal to support Sunni rebels in Syria. The analysis also said the GCC
 was alarmed by U.S. military help to Iraq as it battles a Sunni revolt in

“Most Arab Gulf states share the sentiments of the Iraqi Sunni tribes in
 the Anbar province,” the analysis, titled “Crucial Obama Visit To Saudi
 Arabia Requires Decisive Action,” said.

Kahwaji, who organizes security conferences around the Middle East, said
 the GCC was also dismayed by U.S. support for the Muslim Brotherhood in
 Egypt. He said most of the six GCC states were no longer sure whether was
 Washington was reliable.

“In short, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have become intolerant to
 any steps or policies that they see as threatening to their stability that
 might contribute to empowering Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood in the
 region,” Kahwaji said.

The analysis envisioned a difficult session between Obama and the Saudi
 leadership. Kahwaji said the Saudi leadership would demand practical steps
 by the United States to demonstrate its support for Arab allies.

“President Obama should not expect any easy discussions or soft polite
 words when he meets soon with Saudi and other Gulf officials,” the analysis
 said. “He will be expected to present clear, solid and sellable policies
 that would produce short-term tangible results. Yet, it is not clear whether
 talk and promises would be enough to reverse the perception Saudi and many
 Gulf officials have of Obama and America today.”
« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 12:36:40 PM by rangerrebew »
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