(National Sentinel) Foreign Policy: Perhaps inspired by military advisors who have seen far too much U.S. involvement in the Middle East over the past three decades, President Donald J. Trump plans to introduce a new security proposal during his upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia: An “Arab NATO.”
In addition, the Washington Post reported, Trump will also announce one of the largest U.S. arms sales in history, which could be worth as much as $350 billion over a decade, though the package initially being offered is in the $98 billion-$128 billion range:
Behind the scenes, the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have been conducting extensive negotiations, led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The discussions began shortly after the presidential election, when Mohammed, known in Washington as “MBS,” sent a delegation to meet with Kushner and other Trump officials at Trump Tower.
After years of disillusionment with the Obama administration, the Saudi leadership was eager to do business. “They were willing to make a bet on Trump and on America,” a senior White House official said.
In that meeting and during a follow-up meeting three weeks later, the Saudis proposed a broad elevation of the U.S.-Saudi relationship and proposed various projects to increase security cooperation, economic cooperation and investment, White House officials said. The Trump team gave the Saudis a list of Trump priorities, calling on the kingdom to step up actions to combat radical Islamic extremism, intensify the fight against the Islamic State and share the burden of regional security.
How refreshing that a U.S. administration would be having these kinds of negotiations with friendly regimes in the Middle East, instead of those who have vowed to destroy the U.S. and its Mideast allies (like Iran, perhaps?).
In any event, the security arrangement would mimic the North American Treat Organization only it would consist of regional Sunni powers. Interested parties thus far include the Saudis, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Egypt. The U.S. would play a supporting and organizing role.
“We all have the same enemy and we all want the same thing,” the official said. “What this trip hopefully will do is just change the environment.”
The Arab NATO concept is no new to the Trump administration, but his is the first American government to get behind it.
The Post explained why:
Officials said the concept fits three major tenets of Trump’s “America First” foreign-policy frame: asserting more American leadership in the region, shifting the financial burden of security to allies and providing for U.S. jobs at home (through the massive arms sales).
Trump’s bold approach to reengaging with traditional U.S. allies will pay huge dividends down the road.