The Gulf crisis, which was provoked by the United States and escalated with the blockade of Qatar by four countries led by Saudi Arabia in June, has undergone quite a bit of change since its beginning. It remains unsolved, and an immediate solution should not be expected, either. Multiple parties with different demands are involved in the problem, which has given rise to global repercussions, not for the regional ones only.
The heavy sanctions put in place even before the formation of the list of things to be demanded from Qatar, the international system’s failure to take the problem seriously at its outset and even taking almost a sympathetic approach to the demands of the four states have catered to the process by which the problem has become seemingly intractable.
The problem has been discussed at length. But what has not received as much coverage nor attention is what the parties involved have gained or failed to gain from this crisis and even what they have lost, as well as what kind of lessons can and cannot be derived from the process.
It is naturally not easy to come up with answers to an ongoing issue. But certain hints allow us to make a number of evaluations.
Main actors: US and Saudi Arabia
Coming out of a very tense election process, Donald Trump made Saudi Arabia the destination of his first visit abroad, and as he came back home with a $400-billion gain, he sparked off a crisis.
In fact, although it is possible to partially identify the precipitator in every crisis by discerning the beneficiary, this time around the US has come out the loser in the long run, contrary to what many had initially thought. To date, in the eyes of the people in the region, the US’s double standards have never been so obvious. Already aware of their dwindling prestige, senior policymakers in the US took immediate action by sending messages to the Gulf above the Pentagon and the State Department in an attempt to rectify their image.
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