Persian Gulf States: Issues for U.S. Policy, 2006 [January 20, 2006]   [open pdf - 777KB]

"The U.S.-led war to overthrow Saddam Hussein has virtually ended Iraq's ability to produce weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and to militarily threaten the region, but it has produced new and un-anticipated security challenges for the Persian Gulf states (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates). The Gulf states, which are all led by Sunni Muslim regimes, fear that Shiite Iran is unchecked, now that Iraq is strategically weak. The Gulf states strongly resent that pro-Iranian Shiite Muslim groups and their Kurdish allies (who are not Arabs) have obtained preponderant power within Iraq. This has led most of the Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia, to provide only halting support to the fledgling government in Baghdad. […] The Bush Administration also is working to maintain or improve post- September 11 cooperation with the Gulf states against Al Qaeda. Some Gulf states allegedly tolerated the presence of Al Qaeda activists and their funding mechanisms prior to the September 11 attacks. Fifteen of the nineteen September 11 hijackers were of Saudi origin, as is Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. This report will be updated as warranted by regional developments. See also CRS [Congressional Research Service] Issue Brief IB93113, 'Saudi Arabia: Current Issues and U.S. Relations'; CRS Report RS21513, 'Kuwait: Post-Saddam Issues and U.S. Policy'; CRS Report RS21852, 'The United Arab Emirates: Issues for U.S. Policy'; CRS Report RL31718, 'Qatar: Background and U.S. Relations'; CRS Report 95-1013 F, 'Bahrain: Key Issues for U.S. Policy'; and CRS Report RS21534, 'Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy.'"

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CRS Report for Congress, RL31533
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