The Persian Gulf offers humanitarian aid to the US State Department
This thesis uses reports released under the Freedom of Information Act to argue that the US State Department's actions went against the interests of US citizens during Hurricane Katrina. The State Department rejected over half of the foreign aid offers that were intended to help recovery in the Gulf South. However, countries making these offers, especially Persian Gulf actors like Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, hoped foreign aid donations to the US Government would further their foreign policy agendas. For example, Persian Gulf leaders made foreign aid offers that would benefit their expansion into the North American oil economy. Despite these intriguing histories, there are few analyses of State Department and international actors during Hurricane Katrina. Instead, scholars focus on FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. This is indicative of historians perceiving Katrina as a pivotal event for the United States only. If historians instead contextualize Katrina within global trends of de-democratization and realist foreign policy, it very accurately predicts the actions of global oil actors, like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, in the two decades after the storm.