Scotten Consulting’s take on current events and regional trends.

Obama Should Tell GCC Leaders to Address Sectarian Conflict

As Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) officials meet with President Obama at Camp David, their lobbying efforts are revolving around one question: In the event of a nuclear deal with Iran, what will the U.S. do to counter the Islamic Republic’s influence in the Middle East? The more important question, however — and one that Obama should ask them — is how they plan to stop the spread of sectarian warfare in the region.

The intensification of fighting along the Sunni-Shia divide should be of far greater concern than the challenge posed by Iran’s emergence from isolation. Sectarian hatred is drawing religious extremists from around the world to fight in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The longer that violence continues along religious communal lines, the harder it will be to arrive at political solutions to each conflict, and the more battle training foreign insurgents will receive — experience that can be used to wreak havoc when they return home.

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