Simon Henderson is the Baker fellow and director of the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy at The Washington Institute, specializing in energy matters and the conservative Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
Articles & Testimony
Regional players will likely be testing Muscat in the next few months, so Washington needs to help ensure continuity between reigns.
Stuck out in the periphery of Arabia, Oman may be a long way from the United States, but it is, or should be, central to Washington’s concerns about Gulf security. True, not much happens there, but that is in part a consequence of the firm hand of its ruler. The killing of Qassem Soleimani and the Iranian missile attack on U.S. bases in Iraq have drowned out the almost as consequential death of Sultan Qaboos, who ruled Oman for 50 years, and his replacement by an untested cousin. Oman’s importance to the West was highlighted by Britain’s promptly sending Prime Minister Boris Johnson to offer condolences. Washington’s response has been slower...