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America Needs a Plan for Deescalation in the Gulf

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Last year, the United States almost got dragged into war in the Persian Gulf. That makes it a good time to think about what the next administration can do to deescalate tensions in the region.

What little public discussion there is usually boils down to two opposing alternatives. One approach, often articulated by U.S. President Donald Trump and some of his supporters, is to show unconditional support for Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf States while putting “maximum pressure” on Iran. The other, sometimes also embraced by Trump and his supporters—but also by some on the left—is for Americans to wash their hands of the entire region. A better approach would be for a new administration to use hard-nosed diplomacy and smart statecraft to pursue deescalation and calm.
On the Gulf Arab side there are also good reasons to pursue détente.

Success would be a long shot, of course, but not impossible because both sides have a compelling interest in deescalation. Iran,........

© Foreign Policy

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