As if a 'written commitment' from the US is worth the paper
It's a travel day today, so greetings from the @BritishAirways lounge at London Heathrow.As if putting it in writing would make a difference.... http://t.co/RgxdUk40yf https://t.co/E4Vwnr8EPK— IsraelMatzav (@IsraelMatzav) May 12, 2015
We've already seen that the Kings of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have announced that they are not coming to President Obama's 'Gulf summit' in Camp David on Thursday.
Now, there's a new crisis. It seems that the President of the United States has made America's word worthless. The Gulf leaders want guarantees in writing. As if that would make a difference.
This is from the next to last link.
If anyone was still confused about the aims of the Saudis and their allies, they’re making it quite explicit. “Persian Gulf leaders, set to convene at a Camp David summit this week, are pressing President Obama to strengthen the U.S. security relationship with the region and expand military assurances to address their growing concerns about Iran, U.S. and regional officials said,” The Washington Post revealed on Tuesday.
Senior officials from several gulf nations said they understand that a mutual defense alliance, similar to NATO, is not possible. At the very least, however, they want a firmer and more specific U.S. promise to protect them from external threats.
“In the past we have survived with a gentlemen’s agreement with the United States about security,” said Yousef al-Otaiba, ambassador to Washington for the United Arab Emirates, one of the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries participating in the summit. “Today, we need something in writing. We need something institutionalized.”The concerns of the Arab states are perfectly valid. The Obama administration has demonstrated clearly over the course of its tenure that they have no regard for America’s historic alliances, the United States’ long-term interests, or any discernable grand strategy. America’s word is no longer good. “Today, we need something in writing.”
The Gulf Arab states already sought a mutual defense pact with the United States that was rejected by this White House several weeks ago. In the absence of American security guarantees, the Gulf states will provide for their own defense.In case you missed it, the key sentences there are "The Obama administration has demonstrated clearly over the course of its tenure that they have no regard for America’s historic alliances, the United States’ long-term interests, or any discernable grand strategy. America’s word is no longer good." That's been true since the beginning of this administration. It took just a few months after Obama took power.
Will a new administration in Washington return to its traditional allies and demonstrate loyalty and reliability? Twenty months may be too long to wait to find out.
Can the Gulf states defend themselves? That's part of the problem. They have the equipment and they can certainly afford to buy more. But their armies and their operational capabilities leave a lot to be desired.