mercredi 9 juin 2010

What security cooperation in the Gulf?

J'ai un post paru sur le nouveau blog Ultima Ratio géré par le Centre des études de sécurité de l'Ifri. Bonne lecture ! Et n'hésitez pas à traîner sur le reste du site qui vaut le coup.

Security cooperation in the Gulf remains marginal. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been actively dealing with economic issues, but has yet to fulfill its potential as a regional security forum. Many impediments and setbacks have crippled the organization and prevented it from heading in that direction. However, the unfolding instability in Yemen has stirred up many reactions among the GCC that could bring about an increased cooperation in the security field.

The GCC is composed of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. It was founded in 1981 partly as a reaction to the Iran-Iraq War. While economic issues have always prevailed, security has been a constant yet largely unaddressed concern. The members have never been able to reach consensus on those issues. Several reasons justify the lack of security cooperation. First of all, distrust among members remains detrimental to such an aim. As the regional heavyweight, Saudi Arabia still arouses wariness among its small neighbors who fear that their voice would not be heard and consequently cherish their autonomy. Despite significant efforts in recent years, some territorial disputes still plague the region as the recent naval skirmish between Saudi Arabia and the UAE illustrates. While we may think that the GCC could play a role in the resolution of those disputes, a careful analysis proves us wrong. For instance, when Saudi Arabia and Qatar came to an agreement in 2001 to terminate their disputes, the GCC was not at the negotiation table.


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