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From Alliance to Union

Challenges Facing Gulf Cooperation Council States in the Twenty-First Century

Joseph A. Kéchichian is the author of ten published books, including Faysal: Saudi Arabia's King for All Seasons (2008), as well as Succession in Saudi Arabia (2001), Power and Succession in Arab Monarchies, (2008), and Legal and Political Reforms in Saudi Arabia (2013), and most recently 'Iffat al Thunayan: An Arabian Queen (2015).


After the conservative Arab Gulf Monarchies—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Sa’udi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—joined forces on 25 May 1981 within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), few fathomed that security requirements on and around the Arabian Peninsula would be so precarious and for so long. To answer their search for permanent stability, Arab Gulf rulers erected a regional alliance that sought to integrate internal and regional defenses, as well as strengthen their existing socio-economic ties. Several of the monarchies even hoped that coordination on foreign policy issues over which near unanimity existed could, eventually, lead to a full-fledged union as envisaged in the organization's founding charter. Between 1981 and 2015 these Arab Gulf monarchies experienced major socio-political transformations resulting from upheavals throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds. The perceived necessity to bring about a full-fledged union has come into conflict with entrenched viewpoints from regimes that value traditional military/political roles and norms.

In this new study, Joseph A. Kéchichian provides an evaluation of GCC States’ military institutions to better evaluate whether a stable alliance is capable of enduring over the next few decades, and how civilian leaders perceive the role and influence of their military officers for the task. Kéchichian raises fundamental questions over internal, regional and international threats, including an existential challenge emanating from the Islamic revolutionary government of Iran, and assesses how GCC professionals may be preparing to tackle them. He further elucidates on the best methods to meet security challenges not only to secure political survival but also to determine whether conservative Arab Gulf regimes can flourish outside an effective alliance. The volume concludes with an examination of evolving civil–military relations in the GCC States.


Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-802-2
Hardback Price: £95.00 / $145.00
Release Date: July 2016
   
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-803-9
Paperback Price: £35.00 / $55.00
Release Date: July 2016
   
Page Extent / Format: 380 pp. / 247 x 171 mm
Illustrated: No
   

 



Acknowledgments
A Note on Transliteration


Introduction
AN ASSESSMENT OF THE GCC SINCE ITS 1981 INCEPTION
The GCC as a Political and Economic Organization
The GCC as a Security Organization
The Post-2011 Bahrain Confrontation
GCC COMMONALITY CHALLENGES
Conflicting Perceptions of Iran
Border Disputes
Military Deficiencies
Arms Procurement Problems
Training Concerns
Strategic Shifts
Doctrinal Objections
THE IDENTITY OF THE ALLIANCE: "WILL TO POWER"
METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH
Growing Literature on the GCC
Research Questions
Implications for Policy
The Book

Chapter 1—The Bahrain Armed Forces
CREATION OF MILITARY INSTITUTIONS
Military Capabilities
Demographic Pressures
Military Academies and Indigenous Leaders
MILITARY CAMPAIGNS
War for Kuwait
War for Afghanistan
War for Iraq
The Post-2011 Uprisings
INSTITUTIONAL CAPABILITIES AND CHALLENGES
Training Issues
Doctrinal Challenges
Strategic Concerns
CONCLUSION
Western Military Investments
GCC Commitments to the Kingdom's Security

Chapter 2—The Kuwait Armed Forces
CREATION OF MILITARY INSTITUTIONS
Limited Military Capabilities
Demographic Pressures
Military Academies and Leaders
'Ali Al Sabah Military Academy
Mubarak 'Abdallah al-Jabir Al Sabah Command and Staff College
MILITARY CAMPAIGNS
War for Kuwait
War for Afghanistan
War for Iraq
The Post-2011 Uprisings
INSTITUTIONAL CAPABILITIES AND CHALLENGES
Training Issues
Doctrinal Challenges
Strategic Concerns
CONCLUSION

Chapter 3—The Sultanate of Oman and its Armed Forces
CREATION OF MILITARY INSTITUTIONS
Effective Military Capabilities
Royal Army of Oman (RAO)
Royal Navy of Oman (RNO)
Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO)
Military Academies and Indigenous Leaders
Sultan Qabus Military College
Sultan Qabus Naval Academy
Sultan Qabus Air Academy
Military Technological College
Command and Staff College
National Defense College
MILITARY CAMPAIGNS
War for Kuwait
War for Afghanistan
War for Iraq
The Post-2011 Uprisings
INSTITUTIONAL CAPABILITIES AND CHALLENGES
Training Issues
Doctrinal Challenges
Strategic Concerns
CONCLUSION

Chapter 4—Qatar and its Armed Forces
CREATION OF MILITARY INSTITUTIONS
Military Capabilities
Qatar Amiri Land Forces
Qatar Amiri Air Force
Qatar Amiri Navy
Demographic Pressures
Military Academies and Indigenous Leaders
Qatar Leadership Academy
Ahmad bin Muhammad Military College
Qatar Air Academy
Jaw'an bin Jasim Joint Command and Staff College
Strategic Studies Centre
MILITARY CAMPAIGNS
War for Kuwait
War for Afghanistan
War for Iraq
The Post-2011 Uprisings
INSTITUTIONAL CAPABILITIES AND CHALLENGES
Training Issues
Doctrinal Challenges
Strategic Concerns
CONCLUSION

Chapter 5—Sa'udi Arabia and its Armed Forces
CREATION OF MILITARY INSTITUTIONS
Military Capabilities
Royal Sa'udi Land Forces
Royal Sa'udi Air Force
Royal Sa'udi Air Defense
Royal Sa'udi Strategic Missile Force
Royal Sa'udi Naval Forces
The Sa'udi Arabian National Guard
Military Academies and Indigenous Leaders
King 'Abdul 'Aziz Military Academy
King Faysal Air Force Academy
Command and Staff College
King Fahd Security College
King Khalid Military Academy
Ruling Family Presence in the Military
MILITARY CAMPAIGNS
War for Kuwait
War for Afghanistan
War for Iraq
The Post-2011 Uprisings
INSTITUTIONAL CAPABILITIES AND CHALLENGES
Training Issues
Doctrinal Challenges
Strategic Concerns
CONCLUSION

Chapter 6—The United Arab Emirates and its Armed Forces
CREATION OF MILITARY INSTITUTIONS
Manpower Dilemma and National Service
Military Capabilities
The United Arab Emirates Army
The United Arab Emirates Navy
The United Arab Emirates Coast Guard
The United Arab Emirates Air Force
The United Arab Emirates Presidential Guard
Indigenous Leadership
Service Academies
National Defence College
Khawlah bint al-Azwar Military School
Attendance at Western Academies
MILITARY CAMPAIGNS
War for Kuwait
War for Afghanistan
War for Iraq
The Post-2011 Uprisings
INSTITUTIONAL CAPABILITIES AND CHALLENGES
Training Issues
Doctrinal Challenges
Strategic Concerns
CONCLUSION

Chapter 7—From Alliance to Union
ASSESSMENT OF THE ALLIANCE'S RESPONSE TO MILITARY THREATS
Regional Confrontations and the Sunni-Shi'ah Struggle for Power
Indirect Confrontations with Iraq
Indirect Confrontations with Iran
The War for Syria
The Commitment to Lebanon
The 2011 GCC Military Commitment to Bahrain
The War in the Yemen
Arab-Persian Competition for Authority and GCC States' responses
MILITARY DOCTRINE IN GCC STATES
Bilateral and Multilateral Doctrinal Understandings of the Alliance
Differences between Civilian Leaders and Military Officers
The Potential for "coup d'états"
POTENTIAL U.S.-GCC COOPERATION
Potential Value of the GCC as a Regional Military Alliance
Bilateral Arms Sales and Economic Consequences
Joint Warfare Plans, Exercises, and Common Political Goals
Conclusion: From Coalitions of the Willing to Coalitions of Necessity

CONCLUSION: Civil-Military Relations in the Gulf Region
Aftermath of the Post-2011 Arab Spring
Challenges to Conservative Arab Gulf Monarchies
Bahrain and the GCC Union
Kuwait and the GCC Union
Oman and the GCC Union
Qatar and the GCC Union
Sa'udi Arabia and the GCC Union
The UAE and the GCC Union
Self-Reliance on GCC Militaries
Regime Stability and GCC Union

Bibliography
Index
About the Author


No one has been a closer observer of the Gulf Cooperation Council for the 35 years of its existence than Joseph Kechichian. He knows the GCC and the countries making it up intimately. His analysis is a vital contribution for understanding the future of the organization and the challenges it faces.
F. Gregory Gause, III, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University

Another of Joseph Kéchichian's skillfully written books. Authoritative and highly readable, it explains the security challenges, trends of cooperation, and the creation of a security community in the Gulf region. This book is indispensable for understanding where the security community of the Gulf is heading.
Francisco Salvador Barroso Cortés, Higher Institute of Political and Administrative Sciences, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Lebanon

This volume will become the indispensable reference on the GCC. More timely than ever, this comprehensive assessment is required reading for anyone wishing to make sense of the geopolitical chess game currently being played out in the Gulf. No contrived theories or an ax to grind – just a brilliant, perceptive insight as to how things work in this troubled part of the world.
Robert E. Looney, Professor of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School
Monterey, California

This volume analyzes political-military relations within Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. It examines the GCC rulers' intrinsic capabilities and what is needed to ensure that this military alliance will become an efficient institution in the future. It considers whether GCC states have created updated policy goals; whether they have become aware of their strategic significance and international responsibilities and obligations; which policies they adopted to counter perceived external threats, including that posed by Iran; whether Iran was the only enemy that preoccupied the alliance; whether the GCC military intervention in Bahrain was a paradigm of potential GCC deployments to maintain the status quo; and the alliance's goals to help preserve stability on the Arabian Peninsula. Chapters detail the military institutions in each country, their military academies and leaders, campaigns, and the 1991 War for Kuwait, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and other conflicts.
Protoview.com

Reviewed in The Arab Weekly (http://www.thearabweekly.com), 17 July 2016, by Mohammed Alkhereiji


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