What do America’s Arab partners against ISIS really want?
Huffington Post - 09/23/2014
As the U.S. launched the first airstrikes against the Islamic State and other militants inside Syria, it drew on support from five Arab nations: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. President Barack Obama views Arab involvement as key, administration officials have said. He reportedly waited for diplomatic alliance-building efforts to bear fruit before approving the Monday night strikes.
The Arab allies are playing a visible role at the beginning of what the administration has said will be a years-long campaign against the Islamic State. Maintaining that multilateral support will be a priority for the U.S., experts say. Arab investment in the campaign is critical for reasons ranging from the difficult optics of American involvement in the Middle East to the hope that regional leadership — particularly by Sunni nations — will help rally local opposition against the insurgent group also known as ISIS or ISIL.