Though a vast coalition of some 75 countries has retaken much of the territory once comprising ISIS’s Caliphate, the threat to the Fertile Crescent is far from over. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and a number of the other Gulf States represent a few of the many regional and global stakeholders currently engaged in this arena in the name of stability and other more personal interests. This article will explore the motivations, capabilities, and activities of the Gulf States vis-à-vis ISIS, the Fertile Crescent, and the larger threat that groups like ISIS represent more broadly.
This article is part of a special project conducted by the Foreign Policy Research Institute, titled: “After the Caliphate: Reassessing the Jihadi Threat and Stabilizing the Fertile Crescent,” which includes a book, a thematic issue of Orbis: FPRI’s Journal of World Affairs(Summer 2018), and a series of podcasts. Each element of the project can be found here: https://www.fpri.org/research/after-the-caliphate-project/. The author is the Project Lead.