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US Budget Woes Compound Differences with GCC

Despite security and commercial ties with the United States, there is a growing trust deficit between Washington and Arab states on the Persian Gulf that fear the spread of Arab democratic movements and worry that the U.S. will sacrifice their interests for a deal with Iran.
Dignitaries pose for a group photo prior to the start of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit at Sakhir Palace in Sakhir south of Manama, Bahrain, December 24, 2012. (From L-R) Bahrain's Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, Emirates' Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maqtoom, Deputy Premier of Omani Cabinet Affairs Fahd Bin Humoud Al Saieed, Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al Ahmed, King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa, Saudi Crown Prince Salman al Saud, Qatari Crown Prince S

WASHINGTON — News that the Pentagon can’t afford to keep more than one aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf is sure to rattle U.S. allies already uncertain of American resolve against Iran and upset with U.S. policies toward recent Arab political transitions.

Saudi Arabia and other key members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have grown increasingly reliant on informal American security guarantees and expensive US military hardware but are not in sync with Washington — or each other — on key regional issues, including the role of the Muslim Brotherhood and how to deal with Iran.

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