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The New Pillar

Conservative Arab States and U.S. Strategy

By Simon Henderson

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a quiet revolution in security policy has taken place. As Washington and Riyadh move further apart—perhaps to a healthier distance—America and the smaller Arab Gulf states of Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates are moving closer together. Emerging as major, frontline players in U.S. defense strategy, these countries have each chosen paths toward political openness and economic reform despite the conservative character of their social, cultural, and political policies.

Bringing three decades of journalistic and scholarly experience to his research, Simon Henderson takes a closer look at this important but often overlooked strategic trend, charting the history, politics, and economy of the Persian Gulf’s conservative Arab states, including the record of their ties to the West and to the United States.

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