Thursday, June 22, 2017

China's Growing Influence On Middle East Shouldn't Be Lost On An Impulsive Trump Administration

Alex Capri

FORBES - JUNE 21, 2017

The Middle East is undergoing profound change. Following Donald Trump’s first overseas trip to Saudi Arabia and his exhortations to the Gulf States to isolate Iran and “drive out terrorism,” a bizarre string of events have been transpiring. There's a palpable and growing disregard for established protocols and frameworks: Trump's everyone-for-themselves,  impulse-driven foreign policy is catching on.
First, the Gulf States, led by Saudi Arabia, moved to impose a blockade on Qatar, a fellow member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This action is based on claims of widespread Qatari financing of terrorism and deep, secretive ties to Tehran. And it turns out that some of these accusations were the result of fake news planted by Russian hackers on the Al Jazeera Network.
Next, Trump tweeted that he was in agreement with the Saudis, and publicly called out Qatar, which happens to be a vital U.S. military ally in the region. Then, just days later, the U.S. announced a $21 billion arms-deal with Qatar.