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USIP: Iraq and the Gulf States: The Balance of Fear

Author: Jon B. Alterman
August 1, 2007

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It would seem intuitive that Iraq's smaller Gulf Arab neighbors -- Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman -- would want the country's transition to a stable and peaceful order to succeed. Long fearful of Saddam Hussein and the instability he caused, the region could breathe easier and concentrate on urgent domestic issues with his removal. Indeed, in the months preceding the U.S.-led assault on Iraq, Gulf leaders were widely reported to have urged the Bush administration to take forceful action against Iraq, with the proviso that it should also be swift so as to avoid too many ripples throughout the region.

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