An Envoy and a Mechanism for US Mediation in the Gulf Crisis

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The current crisis between heavyweight Arab countries and Qatar requires exceptional and decisive American mediation that should be led by a veteran high-level envoy well experienced in Arab affairs, and who is respected and supported by President Donald Trump and top members of his administration. The mission of this putative special envoy must not be rubbery or marathon-like, but clearly articulated and well defined as part of a specific mechanism and timetable, for tit-for-tat measures by Qatar, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Only this kind of approach would be able to contain the crisis and mend intra-Gulf ties. The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, does not appear enthusiastic about playing any such role given his many preoccupations. But it may be prudent to consider Gen. David Petraeus for the exceptional task, given the confidence he enjoys from the Axis of Adults in Washington, and the fact that he understands the language of decisiveness in the Arab region.