From the Summary: "Protests that erupted in Bahrain following the uprising that overthrew Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011, demonstrate that Shiite grievances over the distribution of power and economic opportunities were not satisfied by relatively limited efforts to include the Shiite majority in governance. Most Sunnis in Bahrain believe the Shiite majority will be satisfied with nothing less than outright rule. As protests escalated in March 2011, Bahrain's government, contrary to the advice of the Obama Administration, invited security assistance from other neighboring Gulf Cooperation Council countries and moved to forcefully end large demonstrations and arrest dissident leaders. Although the 'state of emergency' was declared ended on June 1, some believe that continued arrests of dissidents have reduced prospects for a negotiated political solution in Bahrain, and could widen the conflict to the broader Gulf region. Others are optimistic that a national dialogue will begin in earnest and that the challenge to the pro-U.S. regime can be managed. Possibly because of concern that a rise to power of the Shiite opposition could jeopardize the extensive U.S. military cooperation with Bahrain, the Obama Administration has criticized the crackdown as counter-productive but has not called for a change of the Al Khalifa regime and continues to meet regime leaders at high levels."
CRS Report for Congress, 95-1013