Cole Bockenfeld Quoted in Defense News on Trump’s Saudi Trip

POMED’s Deputy Director for Policy Cole Bockenfeld was quoted in Defense News on June 6, in regards to Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia and the subsequent blockade put on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain:

The Project on Middle East Democracy’s Deputy Director for Policy, Cole Bockenfeld, said the Qatar fight has undermined the Trump administration’s claims the president “united the entire Muslim world in a way that it really hasn’t been in many years,” at the Arab leaders’ summit in Riyadh last month.

On the trip, Trump vowed to improve ties with both Riyadh and Cairo to combat regional terror groups and contain Iran and announced $110 billion in U.S. arms sales to Riyadh. The White House said the sale, “bolsters the Kingdom’s ability to provide for its own security and continue contributing to counterterrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on U.S. military forces.”

“The lesson from Trump’s visit to Riyadh is that American officials cannot afford to ignore or gloss over regional and domestic politics in the region in order to preserve security cooperation with Gulf monarchies,” Bockenfeld said. “Qatari-Saudi political dynamics have stunted long-held aspirations for greater Gulf security cooperation.”

The full article is available here.