The Alliance dilemma of the Gulf States after the Obama presidency
The article aims at explaining the alliance choices of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council after the Obama Presidency from a theoretical point of view. During the last eight years, Saudi Arabia and its neighbours felt neglected by Washington and considered the US commitment to guarantee their security to be weakened. Using a modified version of a “balance of interests” model, the study presents four possible scenarios available to Gulf states in the post-Obama era and analyses them through the lenses of probability and durability. Saudi Arabia has already stepped up and become more pro-active in recent years, but the economic sustainability of its current foreign policy is highly questionable. While in the short term it is likely that US foreign policy will accept the Gulf countries’ strategic considerations under the Trump presidency, the presence of Washington will probably decrease over time. That is why, in the long term, the GCC has to either find a new protector or redefine its role in the regional status quo.