It seems feasible that the Gulf Arab states can work successfully with President Trump to ensure security in the region and in the West.
Saudi Arabia is particularly pleased that the Obama administration has left the White House. It believed that Obama favoured the Iran nuclear deal negotiations over Riyadh. Riyadh was not happy that Obama withdrew from the region, knocking the security balance in the Middle East.
The Gulf Arab nations urged Obama to provide more aid to rebels fighting against Syrian dictator Assad, but they were dismissed. President Assad has, as a result, continued to stay in power due to the tremendous support from Iran and Russia. The Syrian regime would undoubtedly have toppled long ago if it was not for foreign support.
Abdulrahman al-Rashed, a Saudi commentator, said: “Perception is important: Trump does not look like the kind of guy who will bend towards Iran or anyone else. If he behaves as he says, then we will see another Ronald Reagan, someone all the forces in the region will take seriously. That’s what we have missed in the past eight years, unfortunately.”
Trump is abrupt and impulsive. We have seen this in many of his messages on social media and this has caused some to question his suitability for dealing with highly sensitive issues like that of the Middle East crisis. There will inevitably be a time when Trump will need to provide a statement or react in a way that is calm, collected and reasoned. He cannot continue to attack people or nations in the highly emotional way we have seen in many of his posts on Twitter.
He has spoken about the Iran nuclear deal and he needs to follow through with his promises to act upon it in one way or another. The Iranian regime needs to be dealt with in a firm way. Obama’s tactics of appeasing the regime was clearly a failure – the regime became bolder in its terrorism in the region because the US and the wider international community did not speak out against it.
Not long after Trump was inaugurated, the website of the White House claimed that defeating “radical Islamic terror groups” is a high priority for the administration. It also mentioned that a sophisticated missile defence system will be developed to protect the US from Iranian and North Korean threats.