To Gain GCC Support for Peace, Obama Vows 'Potential Use of Military Force

With President Obama offering assurances that the U.S. will continue to bless member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council with military firepower and diplomatic cover in the world arena, leaders from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates offered their tacit blessing of a pending nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran that could be finalized as early as June.

At the conclusion of a summit, which took place at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, GCC heads-of-state and high-level dignitaries were told their reservations over the deal with Iran were understood and that the U.S. was committed to using its current footprint in the Middle East region and its military technology to back the interests of their regimes. According to the Associated Press, “The U.S. pledged to bolster its security cooperation with the Gulf on counterterrorism, maritime security, cybersecurity and ballistic missile defense.

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As CNN reports:

“Let me underscore, the United States keeps our commitments,” Obama said at a news conference on Thursday as the summit concluded.

“I was very explicit,” the president continued. “The United States will stand by our GCC partners against external attack and will deepen and extend the cooperation that we have when it comes to the many challenges that exist in the region.”

The Camp David summit with the GCC comes as the P5+1 nations—the U.S., France, the U.K., Russia, China, and Germany—continue work to reach an agreement with Iran by the end of June to curb its domestic nuclear program in exchange for relief from international  economic sanctions.


Writing at Common Dreams ahead of the summit this week, human rights activists Medea Benjamin and Nalini Ramachandran voiced extensive criticism of the historic and current behavior of the GCC and the strong diplomatic ties its member states enjoy with the U.S., its powerful military, and western arms suppliers. Especially given the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against its southern neighbors in Yemen, the activists deplored the near-sightedness and hypocrisy of the rhetoric surrounding the meeting which, despite the lack of available evidence, continued to treat Iran as an the primary aggressor in the region.

Describing the Camp David meeting as a “summit of dictators,” Benjamin and Ramachandran continued:

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