Analyzing and forecasting the Gulf Cooperation Council's geopolitical environment

The Danger of Washington Succumbing to a “Riyadh Consensus”

By Justin McCauley
June 13, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech to Arab leaders at the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh on May 21 was noteworthy for several reasons. The president displayed his ability to stay on script, recasting his previous anti-Muslim rhetoric into a sort of Manichean struggle between good and evil and asking that the rest of the Sunni Arab world join him in combating Islamic terrorism. But the most significant segment of the speech was no doubt the characterization of Iran as the greatest purveyor of Islamic terrorism in the world, bringing Washington unequivocally in line with a sort of “Riyadh consensus” on the Middle East’s security landscape.

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Justin McCauley, based in Dubai, is an analyst at Gulf State Analytics and a communications consultant with Memac Ogilvy Public Relations.