One of the initiatives that President Donald Trump intends to announce during the stop in Saudi Arabia is the creation of what the White House calls an “Arab NATO.” The idea is that pro-western Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, would band together for mutual defense against enemies such as ISIS and Iran. The United States would provide a great deal of material and technical support to help bind the new alliance together. The massive Saudi arms deal is the first installment of that support.

First, the Arab countries have to want an alliance

As Hot Air suggests, the idea of an Arab NATO has been around for a while. Both Egypt (the largest Arab military power in the region), and Saudi Arabia (the biggest financial power), have proposed it from time to time. The problem has been that internecine squabbling among the Arab states has caused previous attempts to form an Arab alliance to collapse. President Barack Obama was decidedly cool to the idea, not wanting to offend the Iran, with whom he was attempting a rapprochement. President Donald Trump clearly does not have that problem, and it is hoped that his deal-making acumen may cause the Arab NATO to at last come into being.

What about Iraq?

Iraq would be a natural member of this new alliance. It is on the front lines of both the war against ISIS and the confrontation with Iran, a country which Iraq borders and with which it conducted a war several decades ago. The problem is that Iraq has a large Shiite population which may be sympathetic toward Iran and leery of joining a Sunni Arab-dominated alliance.

What about Israel?

Oddly enough, Israel will likely not have a problem with an Arab NATO and may be such an alliance’s silent partner, considering that the Jewish state has common enemies with its Arab neighbors. Israel has peace agreements with both Egypt and Jordan and a tacit relationship with the Saudis. The idea of an Arab-Israeli conflict such as the Yom Kipper War or the Six Day War is an obsolete concept.

Israel is mainly concerned with the nuclear threat from Iran and the running sore stemming from its conflict with the Palestinians.

The benefits for Donald Trump

President Trump is occupied with a number of scandals, partly of his own making and partly as a result of his enemies’ desire to destroy him, He would, without a doubt, welcome a foreign policy win to change the media narrative. An Arab NATO would be just the accomplishment Trump would need to burnish his cred as a president who can get things done.