The Alliance With Saudi Arabia and other Sunni nations has been further solidified today by the creation of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology

Today, President Trump was welcomed by Saudi Arabia to partake in the creation of a new hub of counter-terrorism.  Following meetings with leaders of several member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Saudi Arabia hosted President Trump’s address to the GCC today.  At about 11:45 AM in Saudi Arabia, President Trump and King Salman walked down the red carpet into the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh.

President Trump was seated at a large oval table with seven other heads of state, each with a miniature flag of their nation in front of them.  Sec. of State Tillerson, Dina Powell, Gary Cohn and Jared Kushner, were seated behind Trump.

King Salman and President Trump were announced, first in Arabic, then in English.  Then it was announced to the members that memorandum of understanding was agreed upon to establishment a center to fight extremism in Riyadh.  Rex Tillerson will be the US representative, and Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef would represent the GCC.

Realism in the President’s Speech

The President’s speech to the GCC was heavily influenced by realist foreign policy, even invoking the very name of “realism”.

“We are adopting a principled realism, rooted in common values and shared interests.

Our friends will never question our support, and our enemies will never doubt our determination. Our partnerships will advance security through stability, not through radical disruption.  We will make decisions based on real-world outcomes – not inflexible ideology.  We will be guided by the lessons of experience, not the confines of rigid thinking.  And, wherever possible, we will seek gradual reforms – not sudden intervention.”

GCCEI cameras

The Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology

This was brought to fruition by the creation of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCCEI).  By the early evening in Saudi Arabia, President Trump concluded a ceremony inaugurating this new center.

The GCCEI has many monitors and workstations, and several floors that overlook the ground floor.  According to a host who was guiding several members of the press, the center is “a dashboard of artificial intelligence information tracking online sentiments.”  He said the center has 350 technicians in the main room. That includes a media monitoring system that can monitor 100 TV channels in 11 different languages.

If this new center proves effective, it will go far in fulfilling Saudi Arabia’s obligations to the US in the ongoing alliance.

Richard Wagner is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He conducts independent study on the American conservative movement and foreign policy. When he is...

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