University of Leicester
2015Al-Barasnehphd pdf.pdf (2.76 MB)

United States Foreign Policy towards the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC) 2001-2008: Searching for Stable Security Framework

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posted on 2015-11-20, 14:12 authored by Ayman Saleh Al-Barasneh
This study analyzes US foreign policy towards the GCC states during the two terms of the G. W. Bush administration in the period 2001-2008. It concentrates on describing and analyzing US interactions with Arabia; a region of central geo-political importance as it possesses bountiful proven oil reserves, upon which American and western prosperity depends. Furthermore, it provides a detailed account of US interests and strategic objectives in the Gulf region. Of particular interest to this study is exploring what associations can be made between the US's strategic relations with its GCC allies and the objectives of US grand strategy. This synthesis of analysis is appropriate to demarcate a proper framework that will enhance understanding of US-Gulf policy. US relations with the six GCC member states (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain) have been entrenched over a course of more than six decades and have evolved on solid foundations based on oil and security. Simultaneously, the US's relations with its Arab Gulf partners have experienced turning points and tumultuous periods in the aftermath of the trauma of September 11, due to which US relations with Saudi Arabia, in particular, were put under a tremendous strain. As a result, many scholars saw a remarkable change in US-Gulf policy. Conversely, this study argues that the Bush administration policy towards America's longtime allies in the Gulf region has been one of continuity as opposed to change and has not departed dramatically from the conventional policy. Interestingly, US economic and geo-political interests in the Gulf region have created a deep relationship between the US and its Gulf ‘friends’. Therefore, Gulf security has preoccupied American strategic thinking and preserving Arabia remains the core objective of US security engagement with the region. This security relationship is at the core of long term US-GCC relations and was never going to be affected by post-9/11 neoconservative ideologies.



Moran, Jon; Phythian, Mark

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Politics and International Relations

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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