Saudi Arabia appointed their first female ambassador in late February. Princess Reema bint Bandar al Saud has been appointed as ambassador to the United States, while the Crown Prince has undergone a series of meetings with leaders throughout Asia. These actions, as a whole, demonstrate an attempted global soft power campaign which the West must now respond to.
With ISIS largely defeated, Iraq has retreated to the periphery of American attention; America and its allies abroad have left Iraq on its own after over a decade of intense involvement.This lack of engagement leaves a power vacuum open for exploitation by Iran, and yes, even a resurgent ISIS. A policy of complete disengagement is not only to the detriment of American interests, but those of its regional allies. The United States must decide whether it will stand idly by as the modest but appreciable gains made by trillions of dollars and the lives of thousands of US service members are swept away by Islamic extremism, or selectively engage in the region to counterbalance growing Iranian influence.