Courtesy Reuters

The most unmanageable risk facing American interests in the Persian Gulf is neither Saddam Hussein nor Iranian expansionism. Rather, it is the slow but sure decay of the economic and political structures of the United States' key regional allies. They are the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Washington's obsession with external threats to friendly governments and direct risks to the continued flow of oil has blinded it to the end of these countries' 20-year holiday from politics and economics.

The holiday from economics was characterized by, among other

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