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Bolton, who wants to build an Arab military power in Syria



While countries like Saudi Arabia can be persuaded that they are joining in, the Trump administration has an offer that offers a compelling reward, said CNN, a source close to the White House] A similar concept was originally published in 2013 as part of the Obama administration's anti-ISIS strategy, but the idea of ​​establishing an Arab US-focused force has been announced after Donald Trump's announcement that he is US troops Syria and other countries are "taking care of it."

Specifically, the US is tracking contributions from Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to counter Iran's Syria by filling the gap should the US forge its footprint in the country Significant Reduction

While Trump's decision to launch rocket attacks on alleged chemical weapons facilities of the Syrian regime has intensified the debate over the government's long-term goals, the move has not led to convincing other nations to take a bigger role forward ,

A source close to the White House told CNN on Tuesday that despite initial concerns that Trump would withdraw from Syria in the near future, discussions were focused on developing a transitional plan and the administration would continue to seek help from several Arab nations including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

This source also confirmed that Bolton recently called Egypt's intelligence intelligence chief Abbas Kamel to assess whether his country would be willing to contribute to the effort, as previously reported by The Wall Street Journal.

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CNN reported earlier this month that the White House is pushing for a deal with Saudi Arabia and members the Gulf Cooperation Council, which would allow Trump to reduce the number of US troops in Syria, but also to address the list of concerns of top military officials warning of a hasty retreat.

A source familiar with internal discussions, CNN said at the time that the White House was seeking additional aid from Saudi Arabia seeking to convince the government of money and troops.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel said Ahmed Al-Jubeir said Tuesday that Saudi Arabia is in talks with the US and would consider sending troops with other Arab countries to Syria as part of that contingent.

Jubeir also noted that the idea is not necessarily new, since Saudi Arabia has made a similar proposal to the Obama administration that the US has not accepted the offer.

Where are the things?

While the Trump government continues to negotiate with some Arab states about the possibility of building a kind of regional coalition, it seems that no formal agreement has yet been reached at that time. Coalition spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon said on Tuesday that individual nations were responsible for announcing specific troop contributions in Syria.

"As for the coalition and the individual nations that are bringing forces to Syria at the request of these nations, we have not announced this and will respect their demands in this regard, whether it be air support or ground support or trainers, we will become singular Nations to make this announcement personal, "he said.

Nevertheless, the best members of Trump's national security team – including Bolton and Pompeo – have indicated they support the proposal.

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Specifically, Pompeo has expressed interest in the concept of an Arab coalition since joining the Trump government for the first time, when CIA Director and his informal advisers met with Egyptian officials even before his appointment as Foreign Minister was announced has been.

But while countries like Saudi Arabia have suggested that progress may be possible, the US still needs to determine what they want to offer in return for participation.

According to a source that is aware of the situation, one idea currently under discussion in the National Security Council – and at that time in play – is to provide the Saudis with important non-NATO status if they are involved

The appointment of Saudi Arabia as a key non-NATO ally would formally recognize its position as a strategic US military partner at the level of important allies such as Israel, South Korea and Jordan.

"The important non-NATO status is a real feather in the cap of many nations … in a sense, it would essentially consolidate the US as a guarantor of Saudi security for the foreseeable future," said Nicholas Heras, a Middle East -Security Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

"It would pin down what the gentleman's agreement was," he said, adding that it is a codified status.

A Great Job

Despite signs that there may be room for the US and several Arab nations to negotiate a type of Syria agreement, the process of building an effective coalition of Arab nations is committed Preserving US strategic interests could be more difficult than it appears on paper.

"I do not know if the US should fully trust any regional partner when it comes to stabilizing Syria," Heras told CNN, adding that even the most capable Arab partners engage in other conflicts for their attention to consume.

While Heras considers the statements made by the Saudi foreign minister on Tuesday a "good start," in reality, they have difficulty defending their own southern border against the Houthis in Yemen, he said.

The conflict in Yemen also reveals many of the problems that arise when US Arab partners need to organize their own operations, he added, pointing out that the Saudis and the Emirates often argued about different strategic approaches.

While offering important non-NATO status could help to sweeten the deal for the Saudis, the US must also consider whether it is prepared to pay such a high price for a widely risky investment.

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"I think it should be a real concern that some Arab allies use operations in Syria as an excuse to wage a major proxy war against Iran and provide weapons to the rebels that could force our hands to become involved in the civil war in a way, "CNN military analyst John Kirby said.

The United Arab Emirates are also active in Yemen, and although they have demonstrated the ability to coordinate with various allies, they may also be wary of contributing to a force in Syria.

Egypt could have the manpower to serve as the backbone of a force in Syria, but they lack the willpower to do so, and have also had difficulty dealing with several ongoing crises in their own backyard, Heras said.

It also raises the question of whether the Arab nations would be prepared for this task from a military perspective.

Despite the purchase of US $ billion worth of defense equipment and weapons, most Arab forces are limited in their abilities. Many Arab nations have no military potential that would be able to project power or travel long distances, sustain themselves, and maintain operations, Kirby said.

And even the most advanced forces in the region still rely on the US to collect and target information from secret US satellites.

In addition, these countries lack sophisticated special operations, enough refueling aircraft to maintain constant flight missions and the means to provide security for bases in Syria for several Arab nations.

"They would – and probably will – enable US logistics, ISR, and support, which in turn increases the stakes and costs of deeper US involvement in the civil war," Kirby said.

CNN's Jenna McLaughlin, Barbara Starr, Nicole Gaouette and Ryan Browne contributed to the report.


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