Leading Persian Gulf states want major new weapons systems and security guarantees from the White House in exchange for backing a nuclear agreement with Iran, according to U.S. and Arab officials.
I don’t doubt that these governments want these things, and they are probably telling the administration that this is the price of their support for a nuclear deal, but there’s no reason why the U.S. should view this as an “exchange” in the first place. The “exchange” being offered here is that the U.S. gives its client things so that they can support something that is already to their advantage. There’s not really any exchange taking place here. These governments are taking advantage of the odd American desire to placate U.S. clients, and so they keep claiming to feel abandoned and neglected in order to get the U.S. to do even more for them. Unfortunately, this administration seems only too willing to comply.
If the nuclear deal is successful, it will mean that Iran’s nuclear program will be restricted and monitored like never before. That by itself should satisfy the Gulf monarchies and put an end to their whining about being neglected. The idea that the U.S. needs to bribe them to support a deal that is already in their interest to support is ridiculous. These client governments are begging for “reassurance” in the form of additional weapons and guarantees that they don’t need and that the U.S. shouldn’t be providing. It should be obvious that all of this is a scam designed to extract increased U.S. backing for government in “exchange” for their support for a U.S. goal that the U.S. doesn’t need. Clients that need to be continually bought off to support policies that make them more secure are not worth having. If the administration indulges them this time, it will just be a matter of time before they demand a larger bribe.