Gulf security أمن الخليج العربي

الخميس، 5 نوفمبر، 2009

Security Environment and GCC Collective Security Factor

Paper presented by DR.ZAFER M. ALAJMI
Executive Manager for Gulf Monitoring Group
Colonel (ret.), Kuwaiti Air Force
Professor of history -Kuwait University

   Conference on (Japan’s Role in the Gulf)

Convener: Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS), Tokyo
Supporter: The Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Tokyo

 Ladies and gentlemen,      
Due to the place it occupies as an avenue of cultures and trade, the Arabian Gulf played a unique role in human affairs that has begun in remote antiquity and has continued to our own day. To establish a Chinese presence,( Zheng he) led seven expeditions. Between 1405 and 1413, he imposed imperial control over trade in Hormuz, Persia and countries of the Arabian Peninsula. 
Another challenge came with the rise of Europe as an avid consumer of oriental luxuries and opened the eruption of the Portuguese into the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf at the turn of the 16th century. Not long after that, The Dutch,French, and British invaders followed them.
The British established themselves as the dominant power,        imposing with gunboat diplomacy treaties on regional states, depriving them of sovereignty since the 19th century. In the first decade of the 20th century Britain added a new dimension to its efforts: search for oil, this in turn brings us to the last and most dramatic stage in the history of the Arabian Gulf.        
To retain influence and to counter the threat of the Soviet in the area around the gulf, the British formed the Baghdad Pact alliance in 1955, which later became the Central Treaty Organization, but did not have a unified military command structure, nor were many U.S. or UK military bases established in member countries.        
In January 1968 the British government announced that it would withdraw from the Gulf before the end of 1971. American security planners on the Middle East became uneasy. In their view, the central structure of the Western security system east of Suez would be dismantled at a time when the United States could not replace it adequately. 
The twin pillars policy, as the Nixon Doctrine became known in1969, was centrally concerned with the Gulf, and in particular with providing security resources to Iran and Saudi Arabia to safeguard U.S. interests. The doctrine was driven as much by domestic political pressures, as it was by geo strategic concerns. In order to implement the Nixon Doctrine, the U.S. privately advocated raising international oil prices in the early l970s in order to allow Iran and Saudi Arabia to purchase advanced weapons systems, but the Doctrine was vague enough to require repeated and lengthy explanation.
On January 23 1980, Carter Doctrine stated that the United States would use military force if necessary to defend its national interests in the Arabian Gulf region. The doctrine was a response to the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union, and was intended to deter the Soviet Union from seeking hegemony in the Arabian Gulf.            
Ladies and gentlemen,    
The old western security systems failed to protect the Gulf from Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's during his quest for filling the vacuum that was created by the British withdrawal. On November 30 1971, the shah invaded the UAE's three islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs.  Then came the Iranian Islamic Revolution and Iran's desire to spread the Revolutionary movement beyond its borders, which clearly threatened the Arabian Gulf stability.          
 The first major threat to the security of the Gulf States was the outbreak of war between Iran and Iraq in 1980. The international silence caused Eight years of destruction to the two sides of the gulf. Then, the international Silence on Saddam Husain's ambitions and the vague US security system led to the destruction of my country in August 1990.
Ladies and gentlemen       
one has to admit that the hopes for a dramatic spurt towards a new and safer gulf security system, which ran so high in the early 1990s, have not yet been justified. Six years after Iraq liberation, two decades after Kuwait liberation war, and three decades after the Iran-Iraq war, the wider Gulf region is still in regional and international conflicts. The old challenges give us no confidence in the reliability of the west security systems, for the old security system indicates that it was based on the readiness of the west to wage large and, with weapons of mass destruction to secure stability in the region.            
New dangers and challenges have come to replace old threats, Gulf security then was threaten by one Triangle: the shah performing the role of the policeman, Iran-Iraq war, and Saddam Husain's ambitions. Instead of one, the new threats for the gulf security system became more than three Triangles.     These are: Iran's nuclear ambitions and its strengthening military and political muscle, Iraq lost in transition, and the fact that Al-Qaeda is securing a stronghold in Yemen along with the Iranian support for the Al-Houthi rebels.        
Instead of building additional layers to the current west.-GCC states bilateral political ,economical  cooperation, the  new security order focused on expanding military structures only, were U.S., U.K. and France, established military bases in GCC countries . Also, the troops presence in the GCC states became a fact instead of regular annual command-post exercises and military maneuvers, and enhancing efforts for joint operations through a better command, control and communications infrastructure and facilitate greater information and intelligence sharing for early warning of potential threats.   
Ladies and gentlemen     
After liberation war 1991, Kuwait and the other GCC states signed several defense agreements with the United States and other countries like the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and china, with the risk of partners becoming competitors. By this, the regional governments continue to rely on outsiders to ensure a rough balance of power to protect their sovereignty. And each member-state has been integrated under the U.S. security umbrella on bilateral basis. Unfortunately, other goals were only partially met, for it complicates any moves towards regional security cooperation or strengthening local defense capabilities of the GCC states, such as expanding their air force or strengthening their ground capabilities.        
Ladies and gentlemen     
To maintain some form of stability, balance of power has taken the form of actual U.S, U.K, and French military deployments or forward defense  measures, along with large arms transfers to the GCC states creating an arm race. In this matter, The UAE has become the third largest importer of weapons in the world, and the largest in the Middle East .

The instability  in the region led many observers to call for an alternate framework to establish for the next several decades, one that would be more conducive to peace than the balance-of-power competition, such as political-military contacts, confidence-building measures, and arms control.           
Ladies and gentlemen       
It was made clear that the GCC states prefer a diplomatic solution rather than a military one to resolve the conflict over the Iranian nuclear issue, but the west seems to push us to the other side. First, the US administration declared its readiness to provide a nuclear defense umbrella for the GCC states. Then, it was recommended that the GCC states should develop a counter strategy; obviously, developing a GCC nuclear program is one way to do something to balance Iran's growing power. This, in turn, sent a signal to the region that the US might not be able or is not willing to prevent the progress of the Iranian nuclear program and indicated that the Gulf will soon see Iran as a nuclear power.      
The GCC leaders had announced in a joint statement that they would begin developing a civilian nuclear program in accordance with the international laws and with the cooperation of the IAEA; unfortunately the GCC member states are moving apart on the issue and everyone is going their own way.     
Some analysts expressed their concerns about safety issues of the GCC civilian nuclear program, ignoring that developing civilian nuclear program is a double-edged weapon, and is a step towards acquiring nuclear weapons. With Israel, India, Pakistan, and  Iran, the only way out  for the GCC states is to take over the burden of defending themselves by the same measures . 
Ladies and gentlemen     
The Arabian Gulf is the center of gravity in the Middle East by virtue of its economic and financial resources. Sometimes, we think that the GCC states are not very well understood and that the greatest danger in the Gulf is not a nuclear Iran or the threat of a conventional invasion by an aggressor, but the exclusion of GCC collective security factor from Washington, Paris, and London. A collective arrangement would make far more stability than the balance of power that has dominated the Gulf's strategic landscape for so long, now .        
Past approaches to regional security in the Arabian Gulf have failed. Therefore, new approaches and policy options must be duly considered. Some people say, that the rising Asian powers such as Japan, China or India, or the EU as a whole, can and should act as the new  security guarantors. Then, there was "Russia's Gulf security" concept where the Gulf's security is only possible through cooperation among regional countries, Russia and the United States. We say, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is the lone regional security institution onto which more formal and ambitious security responsibilities might be grafted and nurtured. The GCC is the closest thing to a collective-security organization that the Gulf now has. In early 2000, the GCC members signed a joint defense pact and they pledged to increase the existing GCC Peninsula Shield Force from 5,000 to 25,000 and develop a shared early-warning system. Most importantly, the pact's language states that  an attack on one member is an attack on all of the GCC states. During the last two decades, and we have taken many steps to modernize our collective security system.      
Ladies and gentlemen,      
Washington needs to preserve the American interests, and the U.S. administration should reconsider the American strategy towards GCC collective security factor.     
The US is not achieving its goals. As a matter of fact, the gulf has only become increasingly insecure; therefore, it should be reconsidered the need for more than public relations campaigns and arm sales.        
There are many challenges facing the GCC states regarding security, but understanding the US policy is becoming more difficult for us similar to the twin pillars' policy that required repeated and lengthy explanation.         
 It is not in the U.S. interest to have very low Cooperation within the region; In fact, it is not clear that the United States even wants such multilateral local military cooperation.            
We are not simply an ally. We are a partner and the United States should allow stronger security interactions among Gulf States. Furthermore, the world should provide an opportunity to breathe new life into the concept of GCC collective security and regional military integration.

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Gulf seurity أمن الخليج العربي

تبين هذه المدونة كيف تمتع الخليج بأهمية كبيرة أدت إلى خلق عبء استراتيجي على أهله بصورة ظهرت فيها الجغرافيا وهي تثقل كاهل التاريخ وهي مدونة لاستشراف مستقبل الأمن في الخليج العربي The strategic importance of the Gulf region creates a strategic burden and show a good example of Geography as burden on history. This blog well examine this and forecast the Gulf's near future and events in its Iraq, Iran ,Saudi Arabia ,Kuwait, Bahrain ,Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman

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