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#1 User is online   Moderator T 

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  Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:59 PM

Trump to unveil plans for an ‘Arab NATO’ in Saudi Arabia

Josh Rogin
Washington Post
5/17/17

EXCERPT:

]When President Trump arrives in Riyadh this week, he will lay out his vision for a new regional security architecture White House officials call an “Arab NATO,” to guide the fight against terrorism and push back against Iran. As a cornerstone of the plan, Trump will also announce one of the largest arms-sales deals in history.

Behind the scenes, the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have been conducting extensive negotiations, led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The discussions began shortly after the presidential election, when Mohammed, known in Washington as “MBS,” sent a delegation to meet with Kushner and other Trump officials at Trump Tower.

After years of disillusionment with the Obama administration, the Saudi leadership was eager to do business. “They were willing to make a bet on Trump and on America,” a senior White House official said.

In that meeting and during a follow-up meeting three weeks later, the Saudis proposed a broad elevation of the U.S.-Saudi relationship and proposed various projects to increase security cooperation, economic cooperation and investment, White House officials said. The Trump team gave the Saudis a list of Trump priorities, calling on the kingdom to step up actions to combat radical Islamic extremism, intensify the fight against the Islamic State and share the burden of regional security.

In recent weeks, the Trump administration has tasked various government agencies to develop a series of announcements Trump will make this weekend. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is now heavily involved. One main objective is to put forth a framework and basic principles for a unified Sunni coalition of countries, which would set the stage for a more formal NATO-like organizational structure down the line.

“We all have the same enemy and we all want the same thing,” the official said. “What this trip hopefully will do is just change the environment.”

The idea of an “Arab NATO” has been bandied about for years — and has always had strong Saudi support — but until now was never openly endorsed by the U.S. government. Officials said the concept fits three major tenets of Trump’s “America First” foreign-policy frame: asserting more American leadership in the region, shifting the financial burden of security to allies and providing for U.S. jobs at home (through the massive arms sales).
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#2 User is offline   Taggart Transcontinental 

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 06:53 PM

Oops seems to be a new sheriff in town and it will be under a Green banner that is not Iranian.
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#3 User is online   gravelrash 

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 07:22 PM

Oh, crap. The Arab world might join the 21st Century.
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#4 User is offline   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 08:30 PM

Well, there's already the "Arab league" of all the Arab nations minus Iran. And there's the "Gulf Cooperative Council" (GCC) which is all the Arabian Gulf states including Saudia Arabia but minus Iraq and Iran. There was a push some years ago to make the GCC a military alliance as well, which would be essentially THIS. It went nowhere.

Pick a coalition in the ME. It's ALWAYS going to be "somebody plus somebody minus somebody else". That's just the VERY NATURE of the middle east, and always has been for thousands of years.
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#5 User is offline   Maneck 

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 11:25 PM

The Trump administration is just continuing the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama policy of teaming up with the most repressive and violent state in the region. I was hoping for a change of course here.
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#6 User is offline   BerkeleyUnderground 

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 01:27 PM

View PostManeck, on 17 May 2017 - 11:25 PM, said:

The Trump administration is just continuing the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama policy of teaming up with the most repressive and violent state in the region. I was hoping for a change of course here.


...like what GWB did in Iraq?
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#7 User is offline   Maneck 

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 10:56 PM

View PostBerkeleyUnderground, on 18 May 2017 - 01:27 PM, said:

...like what GWB did in Iraq?


That was certainly a change of course (initiated by GHWB). Hussein's Iraq was another repressive, violent regime and I agreed with GHWB turning the tables on Hussein, cancelling cooperation and pushing him out of Kuwait.

For the House of Saud, i don't wish for a turn to a military conflict (à la Iraq), but I do wish the cosy relationship and massive arms shipments would stop.
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