In Obama’s second term presidency, we witnessed significant changes in the implementation plan of the National Security Strategy (NSS). To implement this document, Britain and the U.S. had agreed to increase the military and security role of England in the Gulf and east of the Suez Canal and accordingly the U.S. has the opportunity to consolidate its influence in Southeast Asia as well. Many articles have been written on this issue by analysts in world’s leading political circles and think tanks. In the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress, Pentagon, Foreign Ministry and the CIA officials, it was implicitly pointed out that the Middle East project was handed over to the CIA and the Pentagon became responsible for focusing on Southeast Asia.
Analyzing the changes occurred in the British grand strategy, it is clearly visible that unlike its own decision in the 1970s to withdraw from the Suez Canal and the Gulf, Britain in recent years sought to step out of the shadows and to play a more direct role in the Middle East. The implementation of this strategy has been accelerated after Brexit.
Britain’s strategic turning started from 2010 and was officially delivered to the foreign ministers of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) during a secret meeting on the sideline of the UN General Assembly in 2014 by Philip Hammond.
Philip Hammond stated his commitment to control Iran and then called for the expansion of his country’s military presence in the Gulf and emphasized the need to set up military contracts for assigning the military bases in the Gulf to Britain. British military agreements with Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE in recent years were in line with this grand strategy. A strategy initiated based on Britain’s agreement with the Pentagon during the administration of President Obama.
This strategy led Theresa May to stress the need for solidarity of the Arab nations against Iran and Russia in a close session with the Gulf Cooperation Countries in Manama on 07 December 2016. She proposed the following plans: transforming the Gulf Cooperation Council to the Gulf Cooperation Union, launching a joint Gulf police and a joint Gulf naval forces and following the strategic plan to isolate Putin and Russia in the Middle East, particularly Egypt, Syria and Iraq.
Participation of Tony Blair in formulation of Vision 2030 and persuading Riyadh to support Haider al-Abadi to reduce his affiliation to Iran and the participation of England to reform the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, and making the support for the Brotherhood by Qatar on condition that the Brotherhood and Hamas discard ideas by Sayyid Qutb show that England’s agreement with the U.S. was that London to become a strategic loyal partner of Washington in the Gulf and therefore President Obama trusted the Great Britain and opened up the space for the presence of London.
From the beginning of his presidency, Trump paid little attention to this strategic agreement with England and made close relations with the Arab leaders of the Gulf. In a season, Trump repeatedly talked and visit the Arab leaders and took the preliminary agreements in financial, military and security fields. On the contrary, the several trips of Theresa May to the Gulf was indirectly a reminder and warning notice or even a sort of England’s warning to Washington which was deliberately ignored by Trump. Trump's first visit to Saudi Arabia and the gathering of all Arab leaders in Riyadh summit were a gross violation and disregard by Washington for Great Britain as a loyal strategic partner. Trump wanted the entire of Arab petrodollars fully for his own and the U.S. economy and therefore paid no attention to the previous agreements of the former American leaders with the UN and the UK.
Qatar Crisis could be counted as an iron fist of the UK in the face of Trump so that he put himself together and become committed to his country’s international agreements. However, it seems that Trump was not sleeping to be waken up in this way. He is a smart merchant who needs all the revenues from Saudi Arabia and other Arab states of the Gulf for the U.S. economy and for this reason he easily seizes the shares of his European allies. It seems that security crises and the probable war between Qatar and Saudi Arabia have no importance for the U.S. as long as the petrodollars earned by Trump are safe and secure.