This planned Sunni coalition would alienate Shia populations and Iran. How can it be in the national interest of the US to support one side in a sectarian conflict?
There is nothing new under the sun in the Middle East, where almost everything we associate with civilization was first invented: writing, cities, agriculture, astronomy and libraries to name a few. So for anyone with knowledge of Middle Eastern history, the news that the United States is planning “an Arab Nato” seemed like déjà vu.
Back in the 1950’s, at the height of the Cold War, the US was busy putting together a similar alliance system, the Baghdad Pact, also known as Cento. But just as that alliance was meant to group together several countries of the region not only against the Soviet Union but also against Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser, the fine print reveals that there is a specific local focus to this alliance. According to one report, this is not meant to be a general Arab alliance, but rather a “unified Sunni coalition of countries” intended to counter Iran.