Cooperative Security in the Middle East: History and Prospects [Updated April 11, 2019] [open pdf - 437KB]
From the Document: "Since mid-2017, Trump Administration officials have stated their intention to create a security pact of certain Arab states to counter regional threats, including Iran and terrorism. This arrangement, dubbed the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), reportedly would not include formal mutual security guarantees, but nevertheless has sometimes colloquially been referred to as an 'Arab NATO.' As Administration officials continue to consult with regional partners on the formation of MESA, many obstacles appear to exist, including ongoing disputes among its prospective members and differences in their respective interests, capabilities, and threat perceptions. Forging greater security cooperation among U.S. partners in the Middle East has long been a stated U.S. objective. MESA is the latest in a decades-long series of proposed regional security arrangements that have, to varying degrees, involved or been overseen by the United States. U.S. involvement in the creation of MESA or other similar potential initiatives could necessitate congressional input on or approval of specific aspects of multilateral regional security arrangements and raise broader questions about U.S. ties with allies in the Middle East and globally."
CRS In Focus, IF11173
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/