The Gulf Security Architecture: Partnership with the Gulf Cooperation Council

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                 COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS       

 

             JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts, Chairman       

BARBARA BOXER, California            RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana

ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey          BOB CORKER, Tennessee

BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland         JAMES E. RISCH, Idaho

ROBERT P. CASEY, Jr., Pennsylvania   MARCO RUBIO, Florida

JIM WEBB, Virginia                   JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma

JEANNE SHAHEEN, New Hampshire        JIM DeMINT, South Carolina

CHRISTOPHER A. COONS, Delaware       JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia

RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois          JOHN BARRASSO, Wyoming

TOM UDALL, New Mexico                MIKE LEE, Utah

               William C. Danvers, Staff Director       

        Kenneth A. Myers, Jr., Republican Staff Director       

 

                              (ii)      

                            C O N T E N T S

 

                              ----------                              

                                                                   Page

Letter of Transmittal............................................     v

Executive Summary................................................     1

Historical Context...............................................     7

GCC Case Studies.................................................     9

Analysis and Recommendations.....................................    19

Conclusion.......................................................    30

 

                                 (iii)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

 

                              ----------                             

 

                              United States Senate,

                            Committee on Foreign Relations,

                                    Washingston, DC, June 19, 2012.

 

    Dear Colleagues: Home to more than half of the world's oil

reserves and over a third of its natural gas, the stability of

the Persian Gulf is critical to the global economy. A

confluence of events in the Middle East--the withdrawal of

American troops from Iraq, the Arab Revolutions in 2011, and

the ongoing concerns over Iran's nuclear program--have raised

questions about the security of the Gulf region, as well as our

relations with the six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council

(GCC).

    Last year, I instructed two of my staff members to examine

the United States evolving security relations with the GCC

countries, including the challenges and opportunities in

promoting American interests and supporting regional security

in the Gulf region. I hope that this report and the

recommendations contained within will be useful to our

colleagues in Congress and to the public in considering this

strategically important region.

            Sincerely,

                                             John F. Kerry,

                                                          Chairman.

 

                                  (v)

 

 

 

 

 THE GULF SECURITY ARCHITECTURE: PARTNERSHIP WITH THE GULF COOPERATION

                                COUNCIL

 

                              ----------                             

 

 

                           Executive Summary

 

    On 18 December 2011, the last convoy of American soldiers

left Iraq in accordance with the 2008 bilateral security

agreement.\1\ With declarations of ``America's Pacific

Century'' signaling an overdue rebalancing of the United

States' strategic priorities, the departure of almost 50,000

U.S. troops raises questions about the security of the Gulf

region they leave behind.

    Home to more than half of the world's oil reserves and over

a third of its natural gas,\2\ the stability of the Persian

Gulf is critical to the global economy. However, the region

faces a myriad of political and security challenges, from the

Iranian nuclear program to the threat of terrorism to the

political crisis in Bahrain.

    In this volatile environment, the Obama administration is

working to update the security architecture of the Persian Gulf

to promote regional stability, provide a counterweight to Iran,

and reassure partners and adversaries alike of American

resolve. Iran and Iraq have long been the Gulf region's

preeminent military powers. But the centerpiece of this

framework is deepening security cooperation, both bilateral and

multilateral, with the six states of the Gulf Cooperation

Council (GCC): Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United

Arab Emirates (UAE), and Oman. Though still in its nascent

stages, this initiative is in many respects a continuation of

the Gulf Security Dialogue, which began in 2006 as an effort to

coordinate common defense initiatives between the United States

and the GCC but was conducted mostly through bilateral

channels. On 31 March 2012, the United States and the Gulf

states participated in the inaugural session of the Strategic

Cooperation Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, designed to

formalize multilateral coordination on security and economic

issues and further broaden strategic ties.

    In an age of austerity, effective policymaking requires a

careful calibration between means and ends. U.S. leaders should

balance international security interests with domestic fiscal

constraints. In the Gulf, a region of acute strategic

importance to the United States, a security architecture should

be erected on three pillars: (1) a small but capable U.S.

military presence; (2) increased burden-sharing as GCC partners

contribute to their own regional security and stability; and

(3) steady diplomatic engagement with the GCC to promote

improved governance, economic diversification, and human

rights.

    The United States maintains a relatively small but

effective residual military footprint throughout the Gulf. To

sustain this presence, the United States relies on access to

bases such as Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE, Camp Arifjan in

Kuwait, Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, and Naval Support Activity

in Bahrain. The Gulf states provide much of the infrastructure

and transit authority essential to U.S. military missions,

including NATO operations in Afghanistan. In return, they

benefit from the American security presence. The Obama

administration has sought to shape the U.S. force posture in

the region to be both militarily effective and financially

sustainable. However, policy makers are likely to face

difficult decisions about the size of that presence in the

future.

    To maintain a right-sized American security footprint in

the Gulf, the United States should continue to promote a degree

of burden-sharing with GCC states. These partnerships are

facilitated largely through U.S. security assistance--equipping

and training foreign security forces through the sale, grant,

loan, or transfer of defense articles or equipment. From Fiscal

Year (FY) 2007 to 2010 alone, the six states of the GCC agreed

to the purchase of more U.S. defense articles and services

through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program--over $26.7

billion--than any other region in the world.\3\ This trend is

expected to continue: in FY 2011, the Obama Administration

announced that it had agreed to a $29.4 billion sale of fighter

aircraft to Saudi Arabia, the single largest arms sale in the

history of the United States.\4\ The United States provides

security assistance not only to improve partner capacity but

also to build relationships and interoperability through

training and sustainment support. Security assistance can help

promote burden-sharing and advance U.S. objectives in the

region, but it is not a panacea. It must be carefully

implemented to encourage regional stability and protect

Israel's qualitative military edge.

    The promotion of human rights and good governance is also

important to Americans' self-identity and, thus, an element of

any effort to develop a security architecture in the Gulf. The

United States should not be silent on human rights issues but

rather raise them in a consistent and appropriate manner.

Governments that address the aspirations and grievances of

their people are more stable over the long term and

consequently better security partners for the United States.

However, the United States Government should be prudent about

interfering in other nations' domestic matters. Bahrain, in

particular, presents Washington with a difficult policy

challenge.

    This report examines how the United States should seek to

balance these dynamics to promote American interests and

support regional security, at a time of unprecedented upheaval.

Two Foreign Relations Committee staff members traveled to the

six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council as well as Iraq in

2011 and 2012 to investigate the Persian Gulf security

framework. Here are the principal policy challenges they have

identified:

 

    Challenge 1: Policymakers must strike a balance between

security interests and the promotion of fundamental freedoms.

While the United States has significant economic and security

interests in the Gulf, it should not be seen as opposed to

popular reform efforts.

 

          Recommendation: The United States should leverage its

        strategic position to be a steady force for moderation,

        stability, and nonsectarianism, through patient and

        persistent engagement in support of human rights. The

        United States should not be quick to rescind security

        assurances or assistance in response to human rights

        abuses, but should evaluate each case on its own

        merits. U.S. Government officials should use these

        tools to advance human rights through careful

        diplomacy. Consistency is a hallmark of a successful

        security partnership. Nonetheless, there should be

        redlines associated with the U.S. security agreements

        in the Gulf, like elsewhere. The United States should

        make clear that states must not use arms procured from

        the United States against their own people engaged in

        peaceful assembly or exploit the U.S. security umbrella

        as protection for belligerent action against their

        neighbors.

 

    Challenge 2: While the GCC is becoming a more independent

and effective actor, the United States remains crucial to the

region's stability. The Gulf monarchies have for centuries

depended on outside security guarantors, a role played by the

United States since the British left in 1971. They have emerged

from this historic dependency, and Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the

UAE, in particular, are playing more prominent roles on the

regional and even global stage.

 

          Recommendation: The United States should seek to

        remain a central part of the Gulf security framework.

        The administration should encourage the development of

        institutions like the GCC and Arab League, while

        seeking to strengthen bilateral ties. However, the GCC

        is not a monolith, and a multilateral architecture must

        accommodate the significant differences among the Gulf

        states. The United States has a unique diplomatic and

        security role to play in the GCC. To protect its

        regional security interests, the United States should

        seek to reinforce its position as a core interlocutor

        around which intra-GCC security is organized, through

        robust diplomatic and economic engagement, military-to-

        military cooperation, and security assistance. However,

        there is some concern in various GCC capitals that the

        United States has not been forthcoming enough in

        communicating its vision of how it would like this

        cooperation to evolve amidst the political turmoil of

        the Arab Awakening. American officials should seek to

        ameliorate these concerns by more clearly articulating

        to its GCC partners the United States vision for a Gulf

        security framework, as well as its strategic priorities

        for the broader region.

 

 

    Challenge 3: The Gulf region's tremendous hydrocarbon

resources and strong macroeconomic growth in recent years mask

structural human capital and unemployment challenges that could

cause longer term problems. The use of expatriate labor over

the last several decades has helped the region to quickly

develop an advanced infrastructure, but it has led to an

underdevelopment of the region's local human capital.

 

          Recommendation: The United States should work with

        GCC states to promote economic reform and

        diversification, as well as increased trade relations.

        The Gulf states have recognized this dilemma and to

        varying degrees have sought to diversify their

        economies and better prepare their workforces for the

        global marketplace. To help the GCC countries tackle

        their structural unemployment and underemployment, the

        United States should focus on educational and labor

        reforms, as well as the promotion of entrepreneurship.

 

    Challenge 4: The United States must carefully shape its

military presence so as not to create a popular backlash, while

retaining the capability to protect the free flow of critical

natural resources and to provide a counterbalance to Iran.

Earlier American deployments in Saudi Arabia and Iraq generated

violent local opposition. What the West views as a deterrent

against aggression could also be misconstrued or portrayed as

an occupying presence.

 

          Recommendation: The United States should preserve the

        model of ``lily pad'' bases throughout the Gulf, which

        permits the rapid escalation of military force in case

        of emergency. The Obama administration has adopted this

        architecture by retaining only essential personnel in

        the region while ensuring access to critical hubs such

        as Camp Arifjan, Al Udeid, Al Dhafra, Jebel Ali, and

        Naval Support Activity Bahrain. An agile footprint

        enables the United States to quickly deploy its

        superior conventional force should conflict arise,

        without maintaining a costly and unsustainable

        presence. Sustaining physical infrastructure and

        enabling functions such as intelligence, surveillance,

        and logistics, while keeping certain war reserve

        materiel forward positioned, is more important than

        deploying large numbers of U.S. forces.

 

    Challenge 5: Although the UAE and Qatar have demonstrated a

willingness to operate in the coalition environment, most Gulf

states are not yet fully capable of independently sustaining

significant tactical support to the United States in times of

crisis. U.S. leaders should not expect more from the Gulf

states than they are capable of or willing to provide. They

must be careful not to upset a volatile region by introducing,

through security assistance, overwhelming offensive military

capabilities that could lead to an arms race.

 

          Recommendation: The U.S. Government should continue

        to cultivate the capabilities of GCC partners in select

        defensive missions, such as missile defense, combat air

        patrol, and maritime security, while building capacity

        through deployments in other theaters such as Libya and

        Afghanistan. Burden-sharing does not imply that the

        United States is abandoning the region or relinquishing

        its role as a security guarantor. Rather, it is

        intended to deepen strategic ties with the Gulf by

        improving the competencies of the GCC states through

        joint exercises, security assistance, and training.

        Over time, these partnerships can improve the

        effectiveness of Gulf militaries, promote trust, and

        instill professional military values such as respect

        for civilian authority, human rights, and the rule-of-

        law. However, the Obama administration should carefully

        consider what missions it expects the Gulf states to

        execute effectively.

 

    Challenge 6: The United States must determine how much

security assistance to provide to its Gulf partners. The Gulf

states--in particular, Saudi Arabia and the UAE--are prolific

buyers of U.S. arms, but they are also willing to buy from

other international sellers. That does not mean however, the

United States should grant whatever capabilities to the GCC

states that they desire.

 

          Recommendation: The United States should continue to

        supply Gulf partners with security assistance that

        supports a comprehensive strategy for regional arms

        sales to ensure a stable security architecture. The

        United States derives a number of benefits from

        supplying the GCC states with defense materiel and

        training: interoperability, access, leverage,

        relationships, and regional balance. But the United

        States should be scrupulous in determining which

        weapons systems to sell in order to (1) ensure that

        sales contribute to regional security and do not weaken

        the position of Israel, (2) support the legitimate

        defense requirements of Gulf partners, (3) prevent a

        regional arms race, and (4) protect its technological

        superiority.\5\

 

    Challenge 7: Relations between the Gulf monarchies and Iraq

remain cool. There has been a tendency of some Arab states to

remain disengaged from Iraq, largely over its relations with

Iran. Unfortunately, this tendency has had the effect of

pushing Iraq closer to Iran.

 

          Recommendation: The United States should promote the

        gradual political reintegration of Iraq into the Arab

        fold. Iraq's Arab League presidency in 2012 is an

        opportunity for the United States to promote a gradual

        rebalancing of the Gulf's security architecture,

        improved counterterrorism cooperation between Iraq and

        the GCC, and a reduction in sectarian tensions. In

        particular, in light of reciprocal visits by Kuwaiti

        Emir Sheikh Sabah and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-

        Maliki, there may be opportunities for progress on the

        outstanding bilateral issues dating to the 1990 Iraqi

        invasion of Kuwait, including border demarcation, war

        reparations, and the disposition of missing Kuwaiti

        citizens.

 

 

MAP: The Gulf Cooperation Council

 

 

 

 

Source: The Perry-Castaeda Library Map Collection, The

University of Texas at Austin, http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency 2010 Report on

Foreign Military Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and

Other Security Cooperation Historical Facts

 

 

*With the exception of the ``GCC'' grouping, which is drawn out

of the ``Middle East and North Africa,'' the regional

categories are equivalent to those used by the U.S. State

Department.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: 2010-2011 Report on Foreign Military Training and

Department of Defense Engagement Activities of Interest

 

                           Historical Context

 

    The sheikhdoms of the Arabian Peninsula date back hundreds

of years, but with the notable exception of Oman, they only

emerged as modern states in the 20th century. Lacking permanent

borders and formal bureaucracies, the tribes relied upon

outside protectors for the provision of security, including the

Ottomans, the Portuguese, and for roughly 150 years, the

British.

    The British sought to protect trade routes between India

and the United Kingdom, to expand their regional hegemony, and

to project force against their ``Great Game'' rivals, the

Russian and Ottoman empires. But the local sheikhdoms sought

protection as well, as the British took on defense

responsibilities through a series of treaties with all of the

present-day GCC states, except Saudi Arabia.

    Collectively, these treaties--with Oman in 1829, the

Trucial States (now the UAE) in 1835, Bahrain in 1861, Kuwait

in 1899, and Qatar in 1916--became known as the Maritime Truce.

During this period, the local sheikhs generally benefited from

increased trade and stability, and when the British left in

1971, it was to ease the financial burden of maintaining a

presence in the Gulf, rather than at the insistence of the

rulers.\6\

    The U.S. presence in the Gulf is commonly dated to December

1879, when the USS Ticonderoga, a steam-powered veteran of the

Civil War, transited the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian

Gulf. Commercial quantities of oil were discovered in Bahrain

in 1932 and Standard Oil arrived in the Gulf in 1933, beginning

the dramatic regional transformation from desert shipping hub

to global energy provider. In 1948, the United States

established the Middle East Force--a small presence in Bahrain

on a British naval base--to protect ships along the coast of

Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The force, although much evolved,

remains to the present.\7\

    The Gulf's importance to U.S. strategic interests became

apparent with the articulation of the Nixon Doctrine in 1969

and the Carter Doctrine in 1980. The Nixon Doctrine called on

U.S. allies to contribute to their own security with the aid of

American security assistance. The ``Twin Pillars'' policy was a

natural outgrowth of the Nixon administration's efforts to

protect American power. Under this policy, the United States

relied on Saudi Arabia and Iran to provide for much of the

region's security and serve as bulwarks against Soviet

expansion. At his 1980 State of the Union address, in reaction

to the 1979 Iranian revolution, President Carter articulated

his own doctrine: ``An attempt by any outside force to gain

control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an

assault on the vital interests of the United States of America,

and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary,

including military force.'' \8\ Together, these two doctrines

provided a strategic framework for the growing arms sales to

the region in the 1970s and the expansion of the U.S. military

presence in the 1990s.

    Prior to 1990, the Gulf states preferred an ``over the

horizon'' American presence. That changed with the Iraqi

invasion of Kuwait. Even though the six Gulf monarchies signed

a mutual defense pact in 1990, they played a minor role in

Operation Desert Storm to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi aggression

in 1991. Afterward, the United States signed Defense

Cooperation Agreements with Bahrain in 1991 (the Fifth Fleet

was reactivated in 1995), Qatar in 1992 (U.S. Central Command

headquarters was established in 2002), and the UAE in 1994.

Additionally, all six GCC states negotiated or re-negotiated

access agreements for U.S. forces during this period.\9\

    Although most of the Gulf states historically relied on

outside security guarantors through bilateral relationships,

they have in recent decades also sought closer regional

coordination. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was formed in

1981, galvanized by regional events such as the Soviet invasion

of Afghanistan, the Iranian revolution, and the Iran-Iraq

``Tanker War.'' But the Gulf states were careful not to offend

their more powerful neighbors, Iran and Iraq. In fact, the GCC

Charter, still in effect today, focused entirely on nonsecurity

issues. In 1984, the Peninsula Shield Force was created, but it

was a virtual coalition with no real integration.

    Before the 1991 Persian Gulf War, there had been a tendency

for successive administrations to seek a relative power balance

between Iran and Iraq. However, in 1993 the Clinton

administration concluded that both Iran and Iraq were hostile

to American interests in the Gulf and announced a policy of

``dual containment.'' As a senior White House official

described it at the time, ``as long as we are able to maintain

our military presence in the region, as long as we succeed in

restricting the military ambitions of both Iraq and Iran, and

as long as we can rely on our regional allies Egypt, Israel,

Saudi Arabia and the GCC, and Turkey to preserve a balance of

power in our favor in the wider Middle East region, we will

have the means to counter both the Iraqi and Iranian regimes.''

\10\

    After the 2003 Iraq War, the United States effectively

dismantled the Iraqi military. In 2006, the Bush administration

began the Gulf Security Dialogue to coordinate common defense

initiatives between the United States and the GCC and to

promote more robust cooperation among the GCC states

themselves. Today, Iraq remains politically volatile, while

Iran has become politically isolated. At the same time, the GCC

states are emerging from their historic security dependency. In

particular, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates

are playing larger roles on the regional and even global stage,

taking leadership roles in regional crises such as Libya,

Syria, and Yemen. Their relationships with the United States

are maturing even as they expand their economic ties with Asia.

    This evolution takes place against the backdrop of a region

in the midst of historic change. Bahrain faced a large-scale

popular uprising in 2011 that continues, and protest movements

have occurred in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. The UAE and

Qatar are the only Arab countries that have not faced

significant displays of public unrest since 2011. It does not

seem a stretch to posit, however, that the Arab Awakening will

have profound and lasting implications for the entire Arab

world, including to varying degrees on all six Gulf monarchies.

    The GCC remains a fundamentally asymmetric organization,

with Saudi Arabia accounting for roughly half of the gross

domestic product of the Arabian Peninsula, two-thirds its

population, and four-fifths its landmass. Despite recent

discussions among GCC members about the possibility of

transitioning to a Gulf union,\11\ this asymmetry creates a

structural constraint on the willingness of some of the smaller

states to engage in further regional integration. Perhaps not

accidentally, it is the smaller Gulf states--Qatar, Kuwait, the

UAE, and Bahrain--that have a relatively larger U.S. military

presence, particularly after the post-9/11 withdrawal of U.S.

forces from Saudi Arabia.

 

 

                            gcc case studies

 

 

    As the Obama administration seeks to promote a regional

security architecture in the Gulf, it faces a number of

challenges. The GCC is becoming a more energetic actor on the

regional stage, but at times, its states lag in the

implementation of governance and human rights reforms. U.S.

policymakers should continue to engage Gulf partners on these

issues. A residual American military presence in the Gulf and

increased burden-sharing with GCC states are fundamental

components of such a framework. However, the United States must

also carefully shape its military footprint to protect the

free-flow of critical natural resources and promote regional

stability while not creating a popular backlash. Through

security assistance, the U.S. Government should provide its GCC

partners with defense capabilities required to promote

interoperability, but it must be careful not to destabilize the

Gulf's security balance by provoking an arms race. The

following case studies examine the individual Gulf states to

further explore these dynamics.

Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia is the dominant power in the Arabian

Peninsula--culturally, geographically, demographically, and

economically. Home to Islam's two holiest sites in Mecca and

Medina, the Kingdom exercises a unique influence throughout the

Muslim world. Saudi Arabia's estimated proven reserves of oil

are almost 265 billion barrels, nearly 20 percent of the

world's total,\12\ and, as the only country with significant

spare production capacity, Saudi Arabia has also been referred

to as the ``central banker of oil.'' \13\

    Saudi Arabia has no political parties, trade unions or an

elected parliament, and almost no civil society. The United

States has concerns about the status of women, the lack of

religious freedoms, and human rights restrictions. Since

September 11, U.S. officials have also expressed concern about

Saudi support for religious groups outside the Kingdom which

support intolerance. However, the socioeconomic transformation

of the country in the 20th century was astounding considering

that King Abdullah's father King Abdul-Aziz, who founded Saudi

Arabia in 1932, reportedly carried the Kingdom's entire

treasury in camel saddlebags.\14\

    According to some observers in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom

may have reached a demographic inflection point.\15\ Sixty

percent of the Saudi population is younger than 21 and for

several years a majority of the Kingdom's college graduates

have been women. Meanwhile, the Kingdom will likely face a

generational shift in leadership in the years ahead that could

have profound effects on the politics of the Arabian Peninsula.

    The U.S.--Saudi relationship is symbolically dated to the

landmark meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and King

Abdul-Aziz on February 14, 1945 aboard the U.S.S. Quincy in the

Suez Canal. However, like any long relationship, it has endured

its ups and downs. The spring of 2011 was a period of relative

strain, with the Saudis and Americans clearly pursuing

differing policies in Egypt and Bahrain. This divergence

however, was not nearly as severe as the 1973 Oil Embargo or

the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. By most accounts,

the relationship is back on more solid footing, though Saudi

Arabia is keen to continue diversifying its relationships by

expanding its ties with China and other East Asian economic

powers.\16\

 

 

 

   U.S. Military Presence: Although the United States

        maintained a troop presence in Saudi Arabia prior to

        the Gulf War, the deployment reached its zenith in

        1991, with over 550,000 coalition forces mobilized in

        support of operations in Iraq.\17\ From 1992-2003, U.S.

        forces continued to maintain a residual footprint in

        Saudi Arabia, but in August 1996, Osama bin Laden

        declared war against the United States in the Kingdom.

        Subsequently, U.S. forces were victims of significant

        terrorist attacks.\18\ Sensitive to perceptions of an

        overt American military presence in ``the Land of the

        Two Holy Mosques,'' U.S. personnel and combat equipment

        were withdrawn from Saudi soil by the end of 2003.\19\

        Now security cooperation is facilitated by a relatively

        small contingent of U.S. military officers and

        contractors who work with the Saudi Ministry of

        Defense, Ministry of Interior, and the Saudi Arabian

        National Guard.

 

 

   Saudi Military: The Saudi military is by far the

        largest within the GCC, numbering approximately 233,500

        active-duty troops.\20\ The Saudi Arabian National

        Guard is a separate military force and a pillar of the

        regime, recruited predominantly from tribes loyal to

        the royal family and numbering over 100,000

        members.\21\ Since the fall of Saddam, the Saudi

        military is the Gulf region's geo-political

        counterweight to Iran, though the Kingdom has not

        historically sought to project military force outside

        the Arabian Peninsula. Despite employing some of the

        most advanced equipment in the region--Patriot missile

        defense batteries, Typhoon and F-15 fighter aircraft,

        airborne refueling capability, M1-A2 Abrams tanks, and

        AH-64 attack helicopters--the Saudi military continues

        to face challenges developing proficiency in defense

        planning and sustainment.

 

 

   U.S. Security Assistance and Training: Despite the

        sometimes-strained relationship, Saudi Arabia remains a

        major recipient of U.S. security assistance. In fiscal

        year 2010, Saudi Arabia agreed to over $2 billion in

        U.S. Foreign Military Sales and $409 million in Foreign

        Military Construction Agreements.\22\ From 2007 to

        2010, Saudi Arabia agreed to purchase $13.8 billion in

        U.S. defense articles and services--more than any other

        nation in the world.\23\ These acquisitions included

        some of the most technologically advanced weapon

        systems available for export. In 2010, the Obama

        administration announced the potential sales of UH-60

        Blackhawk and AH-64 Apache helicopters.\24\ In December

        2011, the administration announced that it had agreed

        to a foreign military sale with Saudi Arabia consisting

        of 84 F-15SA fighter aircraft, upgrades to its existing

        fleet of 70 F-15s, and a significant air-to-air and

        air-to-ground ordnance package.\25\ The sale, worth $29

        billion, is the largest to a single recipient in the

        history of the United States. Although Congress did not

        block the sale, 198 Members wrote the administration in

        November 2010 to express concern over how the transfer

        of such sophisticated arms would impact the regional

        security balance.\26\

 

 

      In fiscal year 2010, 1,571 Saudi students were trained at

        a value of $69.5 million in such competencies as

        maintenance, English language, communications,

        logistics, financial management, and intelligence

        through U.S. security cooperation programs.\27\ Ninety-

        four percent of the students were trained through the

        Foreign Military Sales programs. In past years, the

        Saudi Air Force has also participated in joint training

        such as Red Flag--a massive air combat exercise--at

        Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.\28\ Saudi Arabia has

        at times received a nominal amount of International

        Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance,

        typically $10,000 or less, so that it can qualify for

        reduced pricing on U.S. training associated with

        Foreign Military Sales.\29\

 

 

      A May 2008 U.S.-Saudi technical cooperation agreement

        laid the groundwork for collaboration on critical

        infrastructure protection and border and maritime

        security. The agreement facilitated the Saudi's

        purchase of U.S. technical support through government

        contractors or U.S. private entities. The U.S. Central

        Command has also reportedly worked with Saudi Special

        Forces to improve their ability to protect oil

        infrastructure and future energy sites.\30\

Kuwait

    Kuwait's political culture has its roots in the diwaniya--

traditional salons hosted by prominent members of society that

remain important venues for discussing and debating social and

political issues. Even prior to the Arab Awakening, Kuwait's

National Assembly was among the more dynamic parliaments in the

Arab world. In 2006, after the death of the long-ruling Emir

Jaber al-Sabah, it effectively forced the incoming emir, who

was seriously ill, to abdicate; in November 2011, Prime

Minister Nasser al-Sabah resigned amid strong parliamentary

pressure. While public protests also contributed to the Prime

Minister's resignation, they centered on demands for

transparency and reform rather than a replacement of the

political order.\31\

    Kuwait's geography renders it susceptible to external

influence: it shares a long border with Iraq, and Kuwait City

is only about 50 miles from Iran. Unlike other Arab Gulf

states, Kuwait has traditionally perceived Iraq as its biggest

security threat. Most Kuwaitis old enough to remember the

August 1990 Iraqi invasion know someone who was killed,

imprisoned, or injured. But in recent years, there has been a

dramatic shift in Kuwait's threat perception; in line with the

thinking in other Gulf states, concerns about Iran now

predominate.\32\

    Kuwait takes a more restrained approach to regional affairs

than some of its neighbors and generally aligns its foreign

policy with that of Saudi Arabia. Its purchases of U.S. arms

are significant, though modest in comparison to Saudi Arabia

and the United Arab Emirates. Kuwait is especially keen to

maintain a significant U.S. military presence. In fact, the

Kuwaiti public perception of the United States is more positive

than any other Gulf country, dating back to the U.S.-led

liberation of Kuwait in 1991. Kuwait paid over $16 billion to

compensate coalition efforts for costs incurred during Desert

Shield and Desert Storm and $350 million for Operation Southern

Watch.\33\ In 2004, the Bush Administration designated Kuwait a

major non-NATO ally.

 

 

 

   U.S. Military Presence: A U.S.-Kuwaiti defense

        agreement signed in 1991 and extended in 2001 provides

        a framework that guards the legal rights of American

        troops and promotes military cooperation. When U.S.

        troops departed Iraq at the end of 2011, Kuwait

        welcomed a more enduring American footprint. Currently,

        there are approximately 15,000 U.S. forces in Kuwait,

        but the number is likely to decrease to 13,500. Kuwaiti

        bases such as Camp Arifjan, Ali Al Salem Air Field, and

        Camp Buehring offer the United States major staging

        hubs, training ranges, and logistical support for

        regional operations. U.S. forces also operate Patriot

        missile batteries in Kuwait, which are vital to theater

        missile defense.\34\

 

 

   Kuwaiti Military: The Kuwaiti military has made

        strides toward modernizing its force, and it is much

        improved in the area of missile defense, regularly

        competing against U.S.-manned Patriot batteries in

        training simulations. However, the small combined Army,

        Navy, and Air Force--close to 15,500 active duty troops

        \35\--still relies on U.S. assistance in sustainment,

        logistics, maintenance, and intelligence fusion. To

        improve its capabilities, the Kuwaiti military is a

        willing recipient of U.S. training. In the words of one

        U.S. military officer, ``Their appetite for partnership

        exceeds our ability to provide it.'' \36\ Kuwait has

        also increasingly demonstrated a willingness to

        participate in international coalitions. In 2012, ahead

        of their regularly scheduled rotation, Kuwait assumed

        the lead of Combined Task Force-152, a 25-nation

        coalition dedicated to maritime security operations in

        the Persian Gulf.\37\

 

 

   U.S. Security Assistance and Training: Kuwait has

        procured major weapon systems from the United States

        including M1A2 tanks, Patriot air-defense missile

        systems, and F/A-18 fighter aircraft. In fiscal year

        2010, Kuwait agreed to purchase $1.6 billion of defense

        articles and services through the Foreign Military

        Sales program.\38\

 

 

      Kuwait is not a recipient of U.S. grant assistance such

        as International Military Education and Training

        (IMET). However, through the Foreign Military Sales

        program in fiscal year 2010, 216 Kuwaiti military

        students were educated in proficiencies from

        intelligence to pilot training at a value of $9.7

        million.\39\ Moreover, the Kuwaiti Government often

        uses its national funds to send officials to attend

        professional military schools and short-term training

        courses in the United States.\40\

Bahrain

    Bahrain presents Washington with a difficult policy

challenge. The Kingdom remains an important strategic partner--

one of two Gulf countries designated as a major non-NATO ally.

During the 13-year reign of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa,

Bahrain had undertaken some reform and managed to build a

reputation as a regional trading and banking hub, attracting

foreign companies, Gulf tourists, and an annual Formula One

Grand Prix (which was cancelled in 2011). Yet, the unrest that

began in 2011 shows few signs of abating.

    Protests broke out in Bahrain on 14 February 2011, inspired

by popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. The protests began

peacefully, but over time the situation deteriorated. On March

14, the six GCC nations unanimously agreed to deploy Peninsula

Shield forces to Bahrain, and a state of emergency was

declared. GCC forces remained garrisoned, but in the ensuing

crackdown there were widespread reports of excessive violence

against unarmed protestors.\41\

    In his 19 May 2011 speech on the Middle East, President

Obama was critical of the crackdown, noting ``you can't have a

real dialogue when parts of the peaceful opposition are in

jail.'' Meanwhile, in September 2011, Congress was notified of

the Obama administration's intent to sell armored vehicles and

optically-tracked wire-guided missiles to Bahrain for an

estimated cost of $53 million dollars.\42\ The announcement

elicited significant opposition from activists and human rights

groups in Washington and resolutions condemning the sale were

introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives. The

U.S. State Department put a temporary hold on the vehicle and

missile transfer and paused security assistance in general to

Bahrain.\43\ The Obama administration then determined it would

proceed with the transfer of certain ``equipment needed for

Bahrain's external defense and support of Fifth Fleet

operations.'' \44\

    Amid a growing international outcry, King Hamad appointed

the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), comprised

of prominent international experts and led by renowned

Egyptian-American jurist M. Cherif Bassiouni. On 23 November

2011 the Commission released a 500-page report, examining in

detail the events of February and March 2011. While the report

found that the protesters shared some responsibility for the

unrest, including targeting the Sunni community, security

forces, and South Asian guest workers, the BICI report sharply

criticized the government for subjecting detainees to ``torture

and other forms of physical and psychological abuse'' and for a

``culture of impunity'' within Bahrain's security forces. It

also could not establish ``a discernible link'' between the

events of February and March 2011 and Iran.\45\

    Human rights groups and political analysts remain concerned

about Bahrain's trajectory. According to a 16 April 2012 press

release from International Crisis Group, ``A genuine dialogue

between the regime and the opposition and a decision to fully

carry out the [BICI report]--not half-hearted measures and not

a policy of denial--are needed to halt this deterioration.''

\46\ The United States should continue to encourage efforts to

start such a dialogue and to promote moderate figures within

the ruling family, including Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-

Khalifa, as well as within the political opposition.

 

 

 

   U.S. Military Presence: The United States security

        relationship with Bahrain dates back to 1948, with the

        establishment of the Middle East Force, a precursor to

        today's Fifth Fleet. The U.S. Navy leased part of the

        former British base in 1971, when Bahrain achieved

        formal independence. During the Persian Gulf War,

        Bahrain was home to 17,500 U.S. troops and 250

        aircraft.\47\ Bahrain signed a defense agreement with

        the United States in 1991, which still provides U.S.

        forces extensive access to military facilities,

        permission to store munitions, and establishes the

        groundwork for joint military training and exercises.

        By 1995, the U.S. Fifth Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces

        Central Command, operating from their headquarters in

        Bahrain, were managing the Navy's rotationally deployed

        assets to the Gulf.

 

 

      Naval facilities in Bahrain, renamed Naval Support

        Activity, now span 60 acres and house roughly 6,000

        military personnel and civilian employees.\48\ The

        Kingdom's ports regularly host U.S. carrier and

        amphibious battle groups and are the enduring home to

        U.S. Navy assets such as minesweepers and costal patrol

        boats. The United States has made a significant

        investment in military facilities, commencing a 5-year

        $580 million U.S.-funded construction project in

        2010.\49\ Additionally, Bahrain is the base of

        international coalitions Combined Task Forces 151 and

        152--partnerships dedicated to counter-piracy and

        maritime security cooperation.

 

 

   Bahraini Military: Bahrain retains the smallest

        military force in the GCC at approximately 8,200 active

        duty troops,\50\ many of whom are apparently

        noncitizens from South Asia. The Bahraini force employs

        a small fleet of American-made F-5s and F-16s; an

        American-made frigate; a number of coastal patrol

        vessels and amphibious landing craft; and transport and

        attack helicopters. Twice, in 2008 and 2010, the

        Bahraini military assumed command of Combined Task

        Force-152, and in 2009, they deployed 100 police

        officers on a 2-year rotation to Afghanistan--the only

        other GCC country besides the UAE to make such a

        commitment.\51\ Bahrain has also deployed its frigate

        in support of U.S. operations in the Gulf. However, the

        Kingdom remains dependent on the United States and its

        GCC allies for external security. Bahraini forces

        leverage U.S. expertise during joint exercises such as

        Neon Response, a November 2011 bilateral engagement

        that facilitated explosive ordnance and disposal

        training.\52\

 

 

   U.S. Security Assistance and Training: The largest

        beneficiary of U.S. grant security assistance among the

        GCC States, Bahrain is slated to receive approximately

        $500,000 in Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining,

        and Related assistance (NADR); $700,000 in

        International Military Education and Training (IMET);

        and $10 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) in

        fiscal year 2012.\53\ Bahrain agreed to purchase close

        to $91 million in U.S. defense equipment and training

        through Foreign Military Sales in fiscal year 2010,\54\

        and in fiscal year 2011, it was granted U.S. Excess

        Defense Articles (EDA) worth more than $55 million.\55\

 

 

      Training has also been a significant component of U.S.

        security assistance to Bahrain. In fiscal year 2010,

        253 students were trained in competencies such as

        maritime security, leadership, maintenance, and

        counterterrorism at a value of $2.8 million.\56\

Qatar

    Qatar is the world's wealthiest state on a per-capita

basis, with only about 250,000 citizens and the third-largest

natural gas reserves. It has successfully translated this

extraordinary wealth into outsized regional, and even global,

political influence.

    Home to al-Jazeera, Qatar presided over the United Nations

General Assembly in 2011, and was recently awarded the 2022

FIFA World Cup. It applauded the resignation of Egyptian

President Hosni Mubarak, played a critical role in supporting

the Libyan Transitional National Council, and has been at the

vanguard of Arab efforts to isolate Syria--despite previously

enjoying warm bilateral relations. It has also played an

important regional mediation role in places as varied as Sudan,

Yemen, Lebanon, Eritrea, and Palestine.

    Qatar shares with Iran the North Field/South Pars

reservoir, the largest gas field in the world. As a result,

Qatar seeks to minimize tensions with its northern neighbor.

However, the two countries have been notably at odds over

Syria, which could raise bilateral tensions over time.

 

 

 

   U.S. Military Presence: In the aftermath of the

        liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Qatar granted U.S. forces

        substantial access to its military facilities.\57\ The

        following year, the two countries solidified their

        defense relationship by signing a cooperation

        agreement. Qatar invested $1 billion in the 1990s to

        expand Al Udeid Air Base. Now, with its 15,000-foot

        runway and considerable store of war reserve material,

        it is a critical logistical hub for regional

        operations. Although Qatar subsidizes much of the

        American presence, the United States has also invested

        in Qatar's security infrastructure. From 2003 to 2010,

        Congress authorized over $394 million for military

        construction projects.\58\ Home to approximately 7,500

        American troops,\59\ Qatar is the forward deployed base

        of the U.S. Central Command and the Combined Air and

        Space Operations Center (CAOC). At the CAOC, U.S.

        military officials manage airspace authority, air

        defense, electronic warfare, and personnel recovery in

        20 regional countries, including Afghanistan.

 

 

   Qatari Military: Qatar maintains a small but

        professional military force. With 11,800 active duty

        troops, it retains the second smallest active duty

        military in the GCC.\60\ Qatar lacks an integrated air

        defense system, and with a small fleet of coastal

        combatants and fighter aircraft it relies on American

        capabilities for its self-defense. Although its

        officers are well regarded, a military career is not

        highly sought after by Qatari youth. In an attempt to

        make military service more attractive, the officer

        corps recently received a pay increase of 120

        percent.\61\

 

 

      Qatar has demonstrated a willingness to operate in the

        coalition environment. After natural disasters in Haiti

        and Pakistan, Qatar was among the first to deploy

        humanitarian supplies aboard its American-made C-17s.

        In addition to supplying $400 million to arm and train

        the Libyan resistance, Qatar provided Special Forces to

        lead the rebels in their August 2011 assault on

        Tripoli.\62\ Although Qatari fighter jets played a

        nominal part in air operations over Libya, one U.S.

        military official described Qatar's overall political

        and military contribution to the Libya effort as

        ``nothing short of decisive.'' \63\

 

 

   U.S. Security Assistance and Training: Qatar has

        traditionally relied on the French for its military

        equipment,\64\ but as the relationship with the United

        States develops, it is increasingly willing to procure

        American-made weapons including fighter aircraft and

        missile defense systems. In fiscal year 2010, Qatar

        agreed to purchase $16.8 million in U.S. defense goods

        through the Foreign Military Sales program.\65\

        Sensitive to what they perceive as costly

        administration fees, Qatar has been more inclined to

        acquire military equipment through the Direct

        Commercial Sales program although, with improved

        bilateral government-to-government relations, there are

        indications that this trend may be changing.\66\

 

 

      In fiscal year 2010, Qatar educated 205 students through

        U.S. military training programs, 35 percent of whom

        participated in programs through Foreign Military Sales

        at a value of $5.8 million.\67\ Qatar also spent a

        significant amount of its national funds to provide

        U.S. training for students in skills from operational

        planning to leadership.\68\

The United Arab Emirates

    The United Arab Emirates is a unique federal state,

comprised of seven emirates ruled by hereditary royal families.

Known as the Trucial States before the UAE became fully

independent in 1971, the federation slowly emerged through a

series of treaties signed between individual sheikhdoms and the

United Kingdom during the 150 year British protectorate

period.\69\ Abu Dhabi, the capital, is the country's center of

political, economic, and cultural gravity. Dubai is an open,

cosmopolitan city that has emerged in recent decades as a

global business and tourism hub, though it was hard hit by the

global financial downturn.

    On 12 April 2012, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

visited the island of Abu Musa, one of three Gulf islands

subject to a longtime territorial dispute between Iran and the

UAE. In response to this provocative act, the UAE condemned the

visit in the ``strongest possible terms'' and recalled its

ambassador to Tehran.\70\

    The UAE has not faced significant public pressure since the

Arab revolutions began in 2011, but a number of bloggers and

activists have faced criminal charges.\71\ In March 2012, the

National Democratic Institute closed its offices in Dubai after

its license was revoked, and Gallup and the Konrad Adenauer

Stiftung, a German organization affiliated with Chancellor

Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Party, announced the

closure of their Abu Dhabi offices.

 

 

 

   U.S. Military Presence: The UAE first turned to the

        United States as a guarantor of security during the

        1991 Persian Gulf War with Iraq. In 1994, the UAE

        signed a bilateral defense pact with the United States

        that outlined a status of forces agreement and laid the

        groundwork for increased defense cooperation.\72\ The

        relationship has since flourished, with the UAE's

        installations now home to a sizable U.S. footprint of

        almost 3,000 troops.\73\ The Emirates directly support

        much of the American presence by subsidizing facilities

        expansion and upgrades. More U.S. Navy ships visit the

        port at Jebel Ali than any other port outside the

        United States, and Al Dhafra Air Base retains U.S.

        fighter, attack, and reconnaissance aircraft. Like a

        number of other GCC States, the UAE also hosts U.S.

        Patriot missile batteries.\74\

 

 

   Emirati Military: With approximately 51,000 active

        duty troops,\75\ the UAE's military capabilities are

        second to none in the region.\76\ U.S. military

        officials assert that operators of the UAE Hawk

        surface-to-air missile system are ``on par with their

        U.S. counterparts'', and that UAE fighter pilots are

        ``combat ready.'' \77\ The UAE, which has NATO observer

        status, dedicated two squadrons of fighter aircraft to

        operations in Libya. In addition to the important

        statement made by the commitment, the UAE pilots proved

        to be capable tacticians and contributed to coalition

        air-to-ground strike operations. The UAE also retains a

        250-troop contingent in Afghanistan dedicated to

        security, humanitarian aid, and development.\78\

        Despite a number of recent setbacks and a strained

        U.S.-Afghanistan relationship, the UAE is poised to

        assume additional responsibilities in support of

        coalition efforts.

 

 

   U.S. Security Assistance and Training: The UAE is a

        major recipient of U.S. defense equipment, having

        purchased in recent years F-16 fighter jets, Apache

        attack helicopters, Patriot and Terminal High Altitude

        Area Defense (THAAD) missile systems, and a bevy of

        advanced munitions.\79\ From 2007 to 2010, the UAE

        agreed to acquire more U.S. defense articles and

        services through the Foreign Military Sales program--

        $10.4 billion--than any other country in the world with

        the exception of Saudi Arabia.\80\

 

 

      The purchase of U.S. weapons systems also contributes to

        the training of Emirati military students. In fiscal

        year 2010, 359 students were trained at a cost of $19.3

        million through U.S. security cooperation programs--96

        percent of whom received their training as part of the

        Foreign Military Sales program.\81\

 

 

      At the Air Warfare Center in Al Dhafra, the UAE and U.S.

        forces conduct extensive training exercises focused on

        command and control, early warning, air and missile

        defense, intelligence, and logistics. Biannually, the

        UAE hosts an advanced aviation seminar in offensive and

        defensive tactics, which includes two weeks of

        academics and four weeks of flying.\82\ There are 7

        participating nations, 42 fighter aircraft platforms,

        and 3 helicopter types, facilitated by U.S. and French

        refueling, command, communications, and control assets.

        Graduates of the course include Qatari, Emirati, and

        Jordanian pilots.

 

 

      The UAE is also host to the Integrated Air Missile

        Defense Center, the region's premier training facility

        of its kind. It not only facilitates U.S.-UAE

        interoperability but also U.S.-GCC coalition building.

        The United States and the GCC train in advanced tactics

        against ballistic missile, cruise missile, and airborne

        threats.\83\ In October 2011, for the first time, the

        GCC states participated in Falcon Shield, an integrated

        missile defense exercise with the United States.

 

 

      The UAE has also hosted the Eagle Resolve multilateral

        exercise, which utilizes state of the art laboratory

        facilities to train participants in chemical,

        biological, and radiological defense and border

        security. The head of Central Command, General James

        Mattis said, ``Eagle Resolve will allow us to operate

        together as a team--it brings the U.S. forces an

        opportunity to learn from our Gulf partners and they

        from us in this regard, practicing how we will protect

        the region's populations if threatened.'' \84\

Oman

    With a rich history little known in the United States, a

strategic location whose territorial waters contain the major

navigable shipping lanes of the Strait of Hormuz, and a

population that is neither predominantly Sunni nor Shiite, the

Sultanate of Oman has carved out a unique position within the

GCC.\85\ Sultan Qaboos bin Said is popular with the Omani

people and enjoys a reputation in the region as a strategic

thinker. During his 40-year reign, though a period which also

coincides with its relatively modest oil discoveries, Oman has

made noteworthy social and economic strides. It has quadrupled

literacy rates and increased life expectancy by some 27 years.

Oman was rated by the United Nations Development Programme

(UNDP) as having enjoyed the greatest improvement in its Human

Development Index score of any country in the world between

1970 and 2010.\86\

    Oman generally seeks accommodation with its neighbors,

though it occasionally breaks with the Arab consensus. For

example, unlike most Arab League members, Oman maintained

relations with Egypt after the 1979 Peace Treaty with Israel.

Oman is one of the few states that enjoys close relations with

both Iran and the United States, demonstrated by the

Sultanate's role in securing the release of the three American

hikers who were imprisoned in Iran.\87\

 

 

 

   U.S. Military Presence: Oman formalized defense ties

        with the United States--the first Gulf country to do

        so--after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. It was from the

        Omani air base on Masirah Island in 1980, that the

        Carter administration staged a failed attempt to rescue

        American hostages held in Iran. During the 1980's Iran-

        Iraq War, U.S. forces used Omani installations as a

        base for maritime patrol and tanker support. In the

        early stages of Operation Enduring Freedom in

        Afghanistan, over 4,000 American troops and critical

        equipment, including a B-1 bomber aircraft, were

        positioned in Oman. A 2010 security agreement permits

        the United States to retain a small military footprint

        and grants U.S. forces access, on a prearranged basis,

        to military facilities in Masirah, Muscat, and

        Thumrait.\88\

 

 

   Omani Military: Numbering approximately 43,000, the

        Omani military is the third-largest among GCC

        states.\89\ With historical ties to the British, much

        of the Omani military inventory comes from the United

        Kingdom. However, Oman's forces are increasingly

        looking for American equipment and training. For

        example, in 2012, U.S. Army forces teamed with the

        Royal Army of Oman during a 2-week training exercise--

        Inferno Creek--that focused on infantry tactics at the

        squadron and platoon level.\90\

 

 

   U.S. Security Assistance and Training: Oman, unlike

        most of its Gulf partners, is a recipient of U.S. grant

        security assistance, albeit at modest levels. In fiscal

        year 2012, the U.S. committed approximately $1.5

        million in Non-Proliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining,

        and Related (NADR) funds, $1.65 million in

        International Military Education and Training (IMET)

        assistance, and approximately $8 million in Foreign

        Military Financing (FMF) to Oman.\91\

 

 

      Compared to its GCC counterparts, Oman has historically

        procured fewer U.S. weapons systems. In fiscal year

        2010, Oman agreed to purchase $13.9 million in defense

        articles and services through the Foreign Military

        Sales program.\92\ However, a number of larger

        potential transfers were notified to Congress in 2010

        and 2011 with a more significant price tag and a more

        robust support and training package. These agreements

        include missile components of a ground-based integrated

        air defense system totaling $1.2 billion and new

        acquisitions of F-16 fighter aircraft for as much as

        $3.5 billion.\93\

 

 

      The Sultanate's forces are regular participants in U.S.

        training evolutions. The Royal Air Force of Oman hosts

        exercises with the U.S. Navy and Air Force, and there

        is a possibility the Omanis will participate in

        advanced airborne combat exercises held in the United

        States. In fiscal year 2010, 291 Omani military

        students were trained through U.S. security cooperation

        programs in intelligence, leadership, logistics,

        procurement, maritime security, and counter-terrorism

        at a value of $2.8 million.\94\

 

                      Analysis and Recommendations

 

    The U.S. Government cannot rely on a single policy

prescription to promote regional stability in the Gulf region.

Instead, it will have to assess complicated intra-GCC dynamics

to formulate a comprehensive strategy that promotes American

values and supports regional security--in the midst of

extraordinary tumult.

 

 

            challenge 1: preserving u.s. security interests

                    and promoting democratic values

 

 

    Policymakers must strike a balance between security

interests and the promotion of fundamental freedoms. While the

United States has significant economic and security interests

in the Gulf, it should not be seen as opposed to popular reform

efforts.

    The United States and the world's primary strategic

interest in the Persian Gulf is economic. Fifty-four percent of

the world's proven oil reserves and 40 percent of its proven

natural gas reserves are located in the Gulf region. In 2011,

only about 16 percent of the United States imported crude oil

originated from the GCC or Iraq.\95\ But crude oil is an

international commodity, and in recent years the market has

been tight. Given the political volatility of the Middle East

and the volume of oil originating there--in 2011, almost 20

percent of all traded oil transited the Strait of Hormuz \96\--

oil markets seem to be particularly sensitive to political

developments in the Gulf. Thus, at a time of tenuous economic

recovery in the United States and globally, there is a

correlation between stability in the Gulf and the United States

economic health.

    Energy security is not the only American interest in the

Gulf region. The promotion of human rights and good governance

is undeniably an important component of American self-identity.

Because of the Gulf states' enormous petrochemical wealth and

relatively small populations, calls for democratic reform had,

at least until the Arab Awakening, been relatively muted. But

communities of activists and reformers exist in all of the

countries and they have often been poorly treated. U.S.

officials should be cautious about engaging in domestic affairs

of other countries, but should not shy away from speaking out

publicly on behalf of those seeking reform. Indeed, governments

that address the aspirations and grievances of their people are

more stable over the long term and consequently better security

partners for the United States.

    However, the United States needs to be careful not to be

perceived as undertaking a capricious or erratic policy.

Abandoning allies is a strategy that is unlikely to advance the

United States long-term interests. The United States derives

significant leverage from being the prime security provider for

the Gulf region. While American military hardware remains the

most desirable in the world, European, Russian or Chinese

equipment may be seen as more appealing if it does not come

with strings attached. Pressure and disengagement are important

tools in the diplomatic toolkit, but if used improperly, they

can also lead to a loss of influence.

    Amid relatively high sectarian tensions in the Middle

East--a consequence of violence in Iraq and, more recently, in

Syria, and growing concerns about Iran--the United States

should encourage its partners, including in the Gulf region, to

pursue nonsectarian policies. While the United States

relationship with Iran is antagonistic, it should continue to

emphasize its desire for a diplomatic outcome and be careful to

avoid being drawn into a sectarian rivalry. Just as senior

American officials distinguish between the Iranian people and

their government, so too must they be careful not to view Arab

Shiites as a monolithic community.

 

          Recommendation: The United States should leverage its

        strategic position to be a steady force for moderation,

        stability, and nonsectarianism, through patient and

        persistent engagement in support of human rights. The

        United States should not rush to rescind security

        assurances or assistance in response to human rights

        abuses, but should evaluate each case on its own

        merits. U.S. Government officials should use these

        tools to advance human rights through careful

        diplomacy. Consistency is a hallmark of a successful

        security partnership. Nonetheless, there should be

        redlines associated with the U.S. security agreements

        in the Gulf, like elsewhere. The United States should

        make clear that states must not use arms procured from

        the United States against their own people engaged in

        peaceful assembly or exploit the U.S. security umbrella

        as protection for belligerent action against their

        neighbors.

 

 

      challenge 2: the composition of the gulf security framework

 

 

    While the GCC is becoming a more independent and effective

actor, the United States remains crucial to the region's

stability. The Gulf monarchies have for centuries depended on

outside security guarantors, a role played by the United States

since the British left in 1971. Recently, they have emerged

from this historic dependency. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE,

in particular, are playing more prominent roles on the regional

and even global stage.

    While the GCC's role in the 1991 liberation of Kuwait was

fairly marginal, Qatar's and the UAE's participation in the

2011 NATO campaign in Libya was more robust, even though the

campaign was of far less strategic significance to the Gulf

states. The GCC is also becoming more active politically,

emerging as a critical subgroup of the Arab League. The GCC

pushed for Arab endorsement for military action in Libya, was

instrumental in the political transition in Yemen, and has been

at the vanguard of Arab action in Syria. The GCC's Peninsula

Shield action in Bahrain is another example of the Gulf states

operating together, though this operation seems to have

complicated prospects for political compromise in Bahrain.

    However, intra-GCC security cooperation is still heavily

reliant on American leadership. For the GCC to be effective, it

will have to become increasingly interoperable. But there are

significant limitations on Gulf states' willingness to

integrate. Thus, the emerging Gulf security architecture is

likely to involve the United States in a significant role

coordinating regional cooperation. That role makes the United

States crucial to the viability of a security framework, a

position the U.S. Government should seek to reinforce in a

region where so many vital national security interests are at

stake.

    U.S. diplomatic engagement with the GCC will be vital to

the future of the Gulf, but security cooperation is likely to

be the cornerstone of a stable regional framework. Through

joint exercises, training evolutions, bilateral exchanges, and

security assistance the United States can build the capacity of

GCC partners to shape the Gulf security architecture to be

mutually beneficial to American and regional interests. As the

world's predominant power, the United States should regularly

facilitate such interaction on a multilateral and bilateral

basis. Although much of the U.S. engagement to foster a

symbiotic relationship takes place between militaries, the

State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs should

continue to play a central role. Diplomats must coordinate the

final policy determinations for the region by effectively

gauging the dynamics that contribute to U.S. national security

interests, including economics, security, human rights,

development, and governance.

 

          Recommendation: The United States should seek to

        remain a central part of the Gulf security framework.

        The administration should encourage the development of

        institutions like the GCC and Arab League, while

        seeking to strengthen bilateral ties. However, the GCC

        is not a monolith, and a multilateral architecture must

        accommodate the significant differences among the Gulf

        states. The United States has a unique diplomatic and

        security role to play in the GCC. To protect its

        regional security interests, the United States should

        seek to reinforce its position as a core interlocutor

        around which intra-GCC security is organized, through

        robust diplomatic and economic engagement, military-to-

        military cooperation, and security assistance. However,

        there is concern in various GCC capitals that the

        United States has not been forthcoming enough in

        communicating its vision of how it would like this

        cooperation to evolve amidst the political turmoil of

        the Arab Awakening. American officials should seek to

        ameliorate these concerns by more clearly articulating

        to its GCC partners the United States vision for a Gulf

        security framework, as well as its strategic priorities

        for the broader region.

 

 

                 challenge 3: economic diversification

 

 

    The Gulf region's tremendous hydrocarbon resources and

strong macroeconomic growth in recent years mask structural

human capital and unemployment challenges that could cause

longer term problems. The use of expatriate labor over the last

several decades has helped the region to quickly develop an

advanced infrastructure, but it has led to an underdevelopment

of the region's local human capital.

    The Gulf is the world's richest region and has enjoyed

strong macroeconomic growth in recent years, due primarily to

high oil prices. On the surface, the Gulf economies are

booming. While the unrest in Bahrain caused significant

economic damage and the continuing fall-out of Dubai's 2008

real estate crash has slowed the UAE's growth, as a whole the

GCC region enjoyed an estimated 6.8 percent growth in real GDP

in 2011 and forecasts suggest approximately 4 percent growth in

2012 and 2013. With the exception of Bahrain, the GCC countries

have recorded large budget surpluses in recent years, and are

likely to remain in surplus in 2012, despite lower oil

prices.\97\

    But this wealth is unevenly distributed and has led to

undiversified economies. Bahrain and to a lesser extent Oman

lack the immense hydrocarbon wealth of their neighbors. Even in

Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE, an extraordinarily high standard of

living masks structural human capital and unemployment

challenges that could cause longer term problems. Because the

economies are heavily dependent on hydrocarbons, sectors other

than construction, consumables and finance are crowed out,

leading to concerns that the region is spending beyond its

means.

    According to Mahmoud El-Gamal and Amy Jaffe of Rice

University, the Gulf states are ``consuming the region's

nonrenewable capital, instead of finding smooth paths for

sustainable consumption and investment.'' El-Gamal and Jaffe

argue that the spending of hydrocarbon rents results in stark

inequalities in wealth and perpetuates the cycle of speculative

financial and construction bubbles based on the volatility of

oil and gas markets.\98\

    Bahrain, Oman, the UAE and Saudi Arabia all suffer from

double-digit unemployment.\99\ For example, according to a 2010

study by Booz and Company, 48 percent of Saudi citizens aged

between 20 and 24, and 31 percent between 25 and 29, were

unemployed.\100\ Unemployment disproportionately affects women

and those under 30 years old, and often lasts for extended

periods of time. Public spending alone is unlikely to meet the

social and economic demands of these constituencies.

    Multiple factors contribute to this structural unemployment

problem. While small and medium enterprises constitute a

majority of private firms in developed countries, they account

for only a minimal share of the overall economic output of the

Gulf region.\101\ Public sector employment across the GCC

crowds out the private sector, especially when vast numbers of

expatriates from across the Middle East and beyond, many of

them highly skilled, are willing to work for lesser wages. This

use of expatriate labor over the last several decades has

helped the region to quickly develop an advanced

infrastructure, but it has also contributed to a significant

under-investment in the region's indigenous human capital.\102\

    The Gulf states have recognized this dilemma and to varying

degrees have sought to diversify their economies and better

prepare their workforces for the global marketplace. Across the

region, a number of high-profile educational initiatives have

been undertaken, including the founding of Saudi Arabia's first

coeducational university, King Abdullah University of Science

and Technology; the creation of Education City in Qatar, which

hosts branch campuses of six American universities, including

Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon and Northwestern Universities; and

the establishment of a number of American branch campuses in

the UAE, including New York University and Rochester Institute

of Technology.

    Dubai's economy was originally built on the hydrocarbon

sector, but oil and gas sales now account for less than 6

percent of the economy.\103\ Although it will take the city

several years to fully recover from the 2008 real estate crash,

the city has managed to transform itself into an international

hub for commerce, finance and tourism, boasting a world-class

airline and the largest man-made harbor on the planet. While

Dubai's model is unlikely to be fully replicated elsewhere, it

is an indication that the creation of free trade zones and

reducing barriers to entry can stimulate the non-hydrocarbon

sector.

    Similarly, while Oman is culturally more conservative than

Dubai, the country has made noteworthy social and economic

strides in the last four decades. It has quadrupled literacy

rates and increased life expectancy by approximately 27 years.

Oman was rated by the United Nations Development Programme

(UNDP) as having enjoyed the greatest improvement in its Human

Development Index score of any country in the world between

1970 and 2010.\104\

 

          Recommendation: The United States should work with

        GCC states to promote economic reform and

        diversification, as well as increased trade relations.

        To help the GCC countries tackle their structural

        unemployment and underemployment challenges, the United

        States should focus on educational and labor reforms,

        as well as the promotion of entrepreneurship. Trade

        promotion is also an important tool for the

        administration. The United States currently has Free

        Trade Agreements with Bahrain and Oman, and Ambassador

        Ronald Kirk, the U.S. Trade Representative, has cited

        the need to increase trade with the GCC, as it

        ``continues to develop as a regional organization,

        aiming to harmonize standards, import regulations, and

        conformity assessment systems affecting U.S. trade.''

        \105\ At the first meeting of the Strategic Cooperation

        Forum between the United States and the GCC in Riyadh

        on 31 March 2012, progress was made toward a ``GCC-U.S.

        Framework Agreement on Trade, Economic, Investment, and

        Technical Cooperation.'' \106\

 

 

            challenge 4: u.s. military presence in the gulf

 

 

    The United States should carefully shape and balance its

military presence to protect the free-flow of critical natural

resources and to provide a counterbalance to Iran.

    Even as the war in Iraq has come to an end and the

coalition footprint in Afghanistan is on a downward trajectory,

the Persian Gulf remains a focal point for the American

military. Bases located throughout the region provide staging

and logistical functions and serve as command and control nerve

centers.

    Amid the possibility of a conflict against Iran in the

region, it is imperative that the U.S. military appropriately

shape the size and structure of its presence in the Gulf. A

2010 Department of Defense report illustrates that Iran retains

a significant conventional military. Iran's population is twice

that of the combined GCC countries, and with ground forces

numbering over 350,000, approximately 1,800 tanks, over 300

fighter aircraft, and capable air defenses, the Iranian

military would pose a significant threat to the Gulf states

should conflict arise.\107\ Iran also has a ballistic missile

capability with enough range to target regional allies,

including Israel, and a number of coastal defense cruise

missiles designed to prevent access to the Persian Gulf.

Perhaps Iran's most viable capability is its ability to wage

asymmetric warfare throughout the region. The Iranian

Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite unit, the Quds Force, is an

active sponsor of terrorist activity, aiding Shia militants in

Iraq, insurgents in Afghanistan, and Hezbollah and Hamas in the

Levant. Iran's fleet of small patrol craft is also capable of

mining the Strait of Hormuz and conducting swarming maritime

tactics.

    From its height in 1991, with over half a million forces,

the American military footprint in the Persian Gulf is now much

reduced. Thousands of military personnel remain in Kuwait,

Bahrain, the UAE, and Qatar. But more important than the number

of U.S. forces in the region is the access that the United

States retains to critical basing infrastructure.

    Kuwait is home to facilities including Camp Arifjan, Ali Al

Salem Air Field, and Camp Buehring which offer the United

States major staging points and training ranges for regional

operations. In Qatar, Al Udeid Air Base is a major logistical

hub and operation center. In the UAE, American forces use Al

Dhafra Air Base to stage fighter, attack, and reconnaissance

aircraft. The UAE port at Jebel Ali, large enough to

accommodate an aircraft carrier, is host to more American

military ship visits than any other port outside the United

States. Even the smallest GCC country, Bahrain, houses naval

facilities that span 60 acres and is a regular host to U.S.

carrier and amphibious battle groups, minesweepers, and coastal

patrol craft. The United States also maintains an integrated

missile defense system in the Gulf with Patriot batteries

located in a number of GCC States. Moreover, GCC partners

subsidize much of the U.S. presence on their soil.

    The governments of Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, and Bahrain are

pleased to accommodate U.S. forces, but care must be taken to

ensure that U.S. forces keep a low profile and do not violate

traditional local social mores. Historically, U.S. troops

stationed in the Gulf have been victim to terrorist attacks and

central to Osama bin Laden's argument that the United States

was an occupier of sacred Muslim lands. While the American

presence extends a security umbrella, it is also important to

maintain the appearance of an ``over the horizon'' force--one

that stays just far enough out of sight to avoid the image of

an occupying power.

 

          Recommendation: The United States should preserve the

        model of ``lily pad'' bases throughout the Gulf, which

        permits rapid escalations of military force in case of

        emergency. The Obama administration has adopted this

        architecture by retaining only essential personnel in

        the region while ensuring access to critical hubs such

        as Camp Arifjan, Al Udeid, Al Dhafra, Jebel Ali, and

        Naval Support Activity Bahrain. Such an agile footprint

        enables the United States to quickly deploy its

        superior conventional force should conflict arise,

        without maintaining a costly and unsustainable

        presence. Sustaining physical infrastructure and

        enabling functions such as intelligence, surveillance,

        and logistics, while keeping certain war reserve

        materiel forward positioned, is more important than

        deploying large numbers of U.S. forces.

 

 

             challenge 5: burden-sharing with gcc partners

 

 

    Although the UAE and Qatar have demonstrated a willingness

to operate in the coalition environment, most Gulf states are

not yet fully capable of independently providing tactical

support to the United States in times of crisis. U.S. leaders

should not expect more from the Gulf states than they are

capable of or willing to provide, and they must be careful not

to upset a volatile region by introducing, through security

assistance, overwhelming offensive military capabilities that

could lead to an arms race.

    After a decade of war and unbridled spending on defense as

the world's primary security guarantor, the United States will

have to chart a more sustainable course. The U.S. military

retains a significant advantage in conventional capability

relative to allies and adversaries alike. Technologically, U.S.

equipment is state-of-the-art; its troops are the most well-

trained in the world; and only the U.S. military can integrate

coalition efforts on a broad scale with its unique command and

control structure. Yet, even the U.S. military cannot be

everywhere at once. The foundation for a sustainable security

architecture will be continued American military dominance, but

U.S. leaders must also leverage the support of regional allies.

Burden-sharing lightens the yoke of U.S. responsibility and

represents a more financially justifiable model of

international security.

    There is a new equilibrium in the Middle East, as the Arab

Awakening, immense oil and gas reserves, and the war in Iraq

have shifted the center of gravity towards the Gulf states. The

GCC has shown an increased willingness to operate on the

international scene. In support of NATO efforts in Libya, the

UAE demonstrated it was a capable ally in strike operations.

Qatari forces, although still evolving as an air power, played

a critical role on the ground, aiding the Libyan opposition in

their march towards Tripoli. Kuwaiti missile defense

capabilities are much improved as operators have made

significant strides in their training. With a significant

threat from al Qaeda still in the region, Saudi Arabia and Oman

are vital partners in counterterrorism operations. Even the

small Kingdom of Bahrain has shown the ability to operate in

the maritime coastal patrol environment.

    The United States can leverage the burgeoning capabilities

of its GCC allies, but there are potential pitfalls. U.S.

leaders must be sensitive not to expect more from the Gulf

states than they are capable or willing to provide. They must

be careful not to upset a volatile region by introducing,

through security assistance, overwhelming offensive military

capabilities that could lead to an arms race. The GCC States

are still developing faculties to maintain equipment,

logistically support forces, and provide command, control, and

intelligence fusion. Although the relationship has grown, the

Gulf states' interests are not always aligned with those of the

United States. Nevertheless, an equilibrium can exist between

regional security responsibilities and the role Gulf states are

willing and able to play. Developing key defensive

proficiencies in the Gulf states will allow them to provide for

their own legitimate security needs, while contributing to U.S.

theater plans.

    Foremost among these capabilities is missile defense, an

inherently defensive mission. Interoperability in this regime

will improve U.S. defense-in-depth. In other words, U.S.

capabilities will become more robust by supporting partner

capacity. However, when U.S. leaders transfer security

responsibility to GCC partners, they must make sure technical

agreements are firmly in place to provide the necessary access

to U.S. operators.

    At the Integrated Air Missile Defense Center in the UAE,

the United States is building the capacity of its GCC partners

to engage it advanced tactics against ballistic missile, cruise

missile, and airborne threats. In October 2011, all the GCC

states took part in Falcon Shield, an integrated missile

defense exercise showcasing these skills with the United

States.

    Another capability that can be improved is airpower such as

airlift, combat air patrol and, in select circumstances where

adept allies prove their competency, air strike. Airpower can

be used both defensively and offensively, so it must be

developed cautiously. However, Gulf states such as the UAE and

Qatar have already contributed airpower to coalition efforts,

and therefore, merit additional training to improve their

capacity for future internationally sanctioned initiatives.

Airlift is another niche competency that GCC states can

develop. Qatar deployed humanitarian supplies--aboard its

American-made C-17s--to countries like Pakistan, Haiti, and

Sudan suffering catastrophes. With additional assets and

training, the Gulf states can expand their role in these types

of missions. Finally, the GCC States can improve in the

innately defensive role of air combat patrol--the use of

fighter aircraft to safeguard international borders and

national assets. At the Air Warfare Center in Al Dhafra, the

United States is helping to build these skills through joint

exercises and training.

    GCC allies can also effectively contribute to maritime

security by developing competencies in demining, coastal

patrol, and counterpiracy. These aptitudes are necessary to

maintain the free flow of commerce, undergird counterterrorism

efforts, and protect the coastal borders of the Gulf states.

Based in Bahrain, Combined Task Force 151--dedicated to

counter-piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of

Somalia--and Combined Task Force 152--responsible for theater

security cooperation and maritime security--are international

efforts to share maritime security responsibilities in the

Gulf. Through these coalitions, the United States is

establishing common tactics, techniques, and procedures that

advance the GCC States' ability to operate in coalition

environments.

 

          Recommendation: The U.S. Government should continue

        to cultivate the capabilities of GCC partners in select

        defensive missions, such as missile defense, combat air

        patrol, and maritime security, while building capacity

        through deployments in other theaters such as Libya and

        Afghanistan. Burden-sharing does not imply that the

        United States is abandoning the region or relinquishing

        its role as a security guarantor. Rather, it is

        intended to deepen strategic ties with the Gulf by

        building the competencies of the GCC States through

        joint exercises, security assistance, and training.

        Over time, these partnerships can improve the

        effectiveness of Gulf militaries, promote trust, and

        provide for the transfer of American political-military

        values such as respect for civilian authority, human

        rights, and the rule-of-law. However, the Obama

        administration should carefully consider what missions

        it expects the Gulf states to execute effectively.

 

 

                    challenge 6: security assistance

 

 

    The United States should carefully determine how much

security assistance to provide to its Gulf partners. The Gulf

states--in particular Saudi Arabia and the UAE--are prolific

buyers of U.S. arms, but they are also willing to buy from

other international sellers. That does not mean however, the

United States should grant whatever capabilities to the GCC

States that they desire.

    Security assistance--the equipping or training of foreign

security forces through the sale, grant, loan, or transfer of

defense articles or equipment--is a central means by which the

United States will build an effective security framework in the

Gulf. Since the Second World War, the United States has used

its industrial capability to provide for the legitimate defense

needs of friendly countries and further its national security

objectives abroad.

    Traditional forms of security assistance afford the U.S.

Department of State with management and oversight

responsibility and the U.S. Department of Defense with

implementation authority. Congress plays an important role in

the security assistance process as well. In addition to

authorizing and appropriating grant funding, it must be

notified if arms sales exceed certain monetary thresholds.\108\

This oversight role provides Congress with the ability to

influence, and potentially block, arms sales. Thus, while the

process can be cumbersome and time-consuming, there is an

essential whole-of-government approach to the policy

formulation, implementation, and oversight of security

assistance.

    Traditional forms of security assistance include Foreign

Military Sales (FMS), Direct Commercial Sales (DCS), Foreign

Military Financing (FMF), International Military Training and

Education (IMET), and Non-proliferation, Anti-terrorism,

Demining, and Related assistance (NADR).\109\ The FMS program

allows countries to purchase U.S. arms, equipment, services,

and training with the U.S. government acting as a broker

between the recipient nation and U.S. defense contractors. DCS

affords foreign buyers the ability to negotiate directly with

U.S. defense contractors for the purchase of military

equipment, which is ultimately licensed by the U.S. Government

for sale.\110\ FMF is grant funding for use by recipient

nations to purchase U.S. defense goods through FMS or DCS. IMET

is grant funding that provides training to foreign security

forces and officials. Finally, NADR is grant assistance that

aids in a variety of initiatives from arms control to

counterterrorism.

    From 2007-2010, the six states of the GCC agreed to the

purchase of more U.S. defense articles and services through the

Foreign Military Sales program--over $26.7 billion--than any

other region in the world. The United States has sold or

granted significant military capabilities to the Gulf states

including fighter-attack aircraft, airlift, missile defense

systems, tanks, armored vehicles, and a panoply of advanced

armaments. In fiscal year 2010 alone, the United States

licensed hundreds of millions of dollars in defense articles

and services to the Gulf states through Direct Commercial

Sales,\111\ and through foreign military education the United

States trained over 2,900 students from the GCC States at an

estimated value of $111 million.

 

          Recommendation: The United States should continue to

        supply Gulf partners with security assistance that

        supports a comprehensive strategy for regional arms

        sales to ensure a stable security architecture.

        However, the United States should be scrupulous in

        determining which weapons systems to sell in order to

        (1) ensure that sales contribute to regional security

        and do not weaken the position of Israel, (2) support

        the legitimate defense requirements of Gulf partners,

        (3) prevent a regional arms race, and (4) protect its

        technological superiority.\112\

          The United States derives five principal benefits

        from the transfer of defense equipment and training:

 

 

 

   Interoperability: Security assistance allows the

        United States to leverage the manpower, regional

        expertise, and willingness of GCC States to conduct

        joint operations. When the United States provides

        regional allies with military equipment that is

        interoperable with American systems, it can improve the

        effectiveness and situational awareness of both the

        recipient and the United States. Moreover, the training

        and sustainment services that accompany these sales

        convey to allies the common tactics and procedures that

        become the foundation of coalition operations.

 

 

   Access: Security assistance is a powerful lever that

        provides U.S. security forces access to basing rights

        and privileged passage through critical transit routes.

        This access has allowed the United States to support

        operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and permits an

        enduring presence in the region in support of U.S.

        national interests.

 

 

   Leverage: The ``total package'' approach that

        includes the transfer of U.S. weapons and technology to

        GCC partners incorporates not only equipment but also

        training, supplies, and replacement parts. Thus,

        reliance on U.S. support becomes vital for the

        continued effective operation of defense articles. This

        provision allows the U.S. Government to reevaluate if a

        particular arms sale is in the best interest of

        national security long after the initial transfer

        occurs.

 

 

   Relationships: Training associated with security

        assistance provides the foundation of the military-to-

        military cooperation and reinforces political

        relationships. These associations help U.S. trainers

        impart values to recipient military officials such as

        respect for civilian authority. Moreover, such

        cooperation gives the United States a keen awareness of

        the competencies of its partners.

 

 

   Regional Balance: The provision of security

        assistance to the GCC States can help balance regional

        security. The infusion of certain weapons and

        competences could prove to be an effective deterrent

        against Iran. However, security assistance should be

        offered with caution to avoid compromising U.S.

        technological advantages, exacerbating intrastate

        conflict, or provoking a regional arms race. The United

        States must maintain the quantitative military edge of

        Israel by carefully weighing all potential arms sales

        to the region.

 

 

                     challenge 7: iraq integration

 

 

    Relations between the Gulf monarchies and Iraq remain cool.

There has been a tendency of some Arab states to remain

disengaged from Iraq, largely over its relations with Iran.

Unfortunately, this tendency has had the effect of pushing Iraq

closer to Iran.

    Since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the GCC has generally

had poor relations with Iraq. Despite their animosity towards

Saddam Hussein, most Gulf states had reservations about the

2003 invasion of Iraq, and since then, Saudi Arabia in

particular has been deeply concerned about Iran's influence on

Baghdad.\113\ Unfortunately, this tendency to disengage from

Iraq seems to have actually reinforced Iran's role, since it

leaves Turkey, which is not inclined to pursue sectarian

policies, as the only other regional power deeply engaged in

Iraq.

    In recent months, however, there have been signs that the

Gulf states are slowly changing their policies out of necessity

due to the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

Additionally, Iraq itself has modified some of its foreign

policy positions in order to have a successful Arab League

presidency, which it took over in March.\114\

    In April, the annual Arab League summit was held in Iraq

for the first time since 1990, during which Iraq joined the

Arab League consensus on Syria. While Iraq is unlikely to join

Gulf states in directly providing assistance to the Syrian

opposition, the move does suggest that Iraq has moved away from

Iran, which continues to provide unconditional support for

President Bashar al-Assad. Though most GCC countries sent

relatively low-level delegations, the Kuwaiti Emir, Sheikh

Sabah al-Sabah, attended and was warmly welcomed by Iraqi Prime

Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a symbolically important gesture that

marked the first visit by a Kuwaiti Emir to Iraq since the 1990

invasion. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia named a nonresident

ambassador, also for the first time since 1990, and the UAE has

undertaken a nascent security dialogue with Iraq.

 

          Recommendation: The United States should promote the

        gradual political reintegration of Iraq into the Arab

        fold. Iraq's Arab League presidency in 2012 is an

        opportunity for the United States to promote a

        rebalancing of the Gulf's security architecture,

        improved counterterrorism cooperation between Iraq and

        the GCC, and a reduction in sectarian tensions. In

        particular, in light of reciprocal visits by Kuwaiti

        Emir Sheikh Sabah and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-

        Maliki, there may be opportunities for progress on the

        outstanding bilateral issues dating to the 1990 Iraqi

        invasion of Kuwait, including border demarcation, war

        reparations, and the disposition of missing Kuwaiti

        citizens.

 

                               Conclusion

 

    As extraordinary change sweeps the Middle East, the United

States is confronted with a shifting security landscape in the

Persian Gulf region. Despite this transformation, the rationale

for continued American engagement in the region is compelling.

The world's energy security is inextricably linked to the

Gulf's abundant supply of hydrocarbons. Iran, one of the United

States most pressing security threats, continues to defy

international condemnation in its pursuit of a nuclear

capability. The Arabian Peninsula remains both a potential

target and dangerous source of international terrorism. Many of

the Gulf states are still a base of operations for some of the

U.S. military's most critical missions from the war in

Afghanistan to counter-piracy in the Gulf of Aden to

antiterrorism efforts throughout the Middle East.

    With the withdrawal of American forces after more than 8

years of war in Iraq, U.S. policymakers need to erect a

security framework to protect American strategic interests and

signal to allies that the United States is not abandoning the

region. The United States is still a predominant power, but it

should not seek to establish stability in the Gulf on its own.

Thus, a Gulf security architecture should rely not only on the

U.S. military but also, the burgeoning security forces of the

GCC States.

    However, as it increasingly looks to share security burdens

with GCC partners, the U.S. Government should be pragmatic in

developing capabilities that Gulf states can effectively

execute and that do not upset the regional balance of power.

The United States should carefully apportion security

assistance to the GCC States to buttress their capacity to

undertake defensive missions. Added benefits will accrue from

the provision of security assistance including increased

interoperability and access to basing infrastructure and

transit routes.

    Even as partnerships with Gulf states improve, the U.S.

military should maintain a foothold in what is still a

dangerous neighborhood. The United States remains the only

country capable of coalescing disparate security forces into a

cohesive alliance.

    U.S. interests are not limited to security alone. Intrinsic

to American exceptionalism is the persistent pursuit of

fundamental human rights. In a Gulf region where security

interests do not always converge with human rights concerns,

this requires delicate policy decisions. Through security

cooperation, U.S. officials have a forum to consistently engage

with GCC partners not only on defense issues, but also with

respect to key principles like civilian authority and the rule-

of-law. Through robust diplomacy, Americans can hope to

gradually change the regional landscape, and in turn promote

U.S. interests.

 

----------------

End Notes

 

\1\ Though implemented by the Obama Administration, the

bilateral security agreement was negotiated by the Bush

administration and signed in November 2008, shortly before the

Obama Administration took office.

 

\2\ According to the 2011 BP Statistical Review of World

Energy, at the end of 2010, the six GCC states plus Iraq and

Iran had 747 billion of the world's 1,383 billion barrels of

proven oil reserves (54%) and 75 trillion of the world's 187

trillion cubic meters of proven natural gas reserves (40%).

See: BP, ``Statistical Review of World Energy June 2011,''

http://www.bp.com/statisticalreview, accessed 28 February 2012.

 

\3\  See tables 1 and 2 after the executive summary. These

figures are based on data provided from the Defense Security

Cooperation Agency. See: Defense Security Cooperation Agency,

Foreign Military Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and

Other Security Cooperation, Historical Facts as of 30 September

2010, http://www.dsca.mil/programs/biz-ops/factsbook/

FiscalYearSeries-2010.pdf, accessed 10 November 2011.

 

\4\ U.S. Department of State, Press Releases: 2011, Special

Joint Press Briefing on U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia, 29

December 2011, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/12/

179777.htm, accessed 29 December 2011; Christopher Blanchard,

Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations, Report RL33533

(Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 10 March

2011), 9.

 

\5\ The Arms Export Control Act explicitly states that no

defense articles or services shall be sold or leased to foreign

recipients unless ``the President finds that the furnishing of

defense articles and defense services to such a country or

international organization will strengthen the security of the

United States and promote world peace.'' See Eligibility for

Defense Services or Defense Articles, U.S. Code 22 (1976),

Sec.  2753.

 

\6\1A James Onley, ``Britain and the Gulf Shaikhdoms, 1820-

1971: The Politics of Protection,'' Occasional Paper no. 4

(Center for International and Regional Studies, Georgetown

University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, 2009),http://

www12.georgetown.edu/sfs/qatar/cirs/

JamesOnleyCIRSOccasionalPaper2009.pdf, accessed 13 April 2012.

 

\7\  Robert Schneller, Jr. Anchor of Resolve: A History of U.S.

Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet (Washington DC: Naval

Historical Center, Department of the Navy, 2007), http://

www.history.navy.mil/pubs/AnchorofResolve--web.pdf, accessed 13

April 2012.

 

\8\ Jimmy Carter, ``The State of the Union Address Delivered

Before a Joint Session of the Congress. January 23, 1980,'' The

American Presidency Project, University of California, Santa

Barbara, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/

index.php?pid=33079#axzz1spb4HZYc, accessed 22 April 2012.

 

\9\ Martin Indyk, ``U.S. Policy Priorities in the Gulf:

Challenges and Choices,'' in International Interests in the

Gulf Region (Abu Dhabi, UAE: Emirates Center for Strategic

Studies and Research, 2004), http://www.brookings.edu/views/

articles/indyk/20041231.pdf, accessed 13 April 2012.

 

\10\ Martin Indyk, ``The Clinton Administration's Approach to

the Middle East,'' Soref Symposium Keynote Address (Washington

Institute for Near East Policy, Washington DC, 18 May 1993),

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/the-

clinton-administrations-approach-to-the-middle-east, accessed

13 April 2012.

 

\11\ At the GCC consultative summit in Riyadh in May, Saudi

Arabia proposed an evolution from cooperation council towards

union and a study of the proposal was approved. Though Bahrain

has publicly supported the idea, other GCC leaders have been

more cautious.

 

\12\ BP, ``Statistical Review of World Energy June 2011,''

accessed 28 February 2012.

 

\13\ As of March 2012, Saudi Arabia's daily oil production

averaged 9.9 million barrels per day. Saudi officials have

stated that the country is capable of producing 12.5 million

barrels per day. Martin Baccardax, ``Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-

Naimi Ready to Lift Crude Output, Calls Current Prices

`Unjustified,' '' International Business Times, 20 March 2012,

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/316880/20120320/oil-economy-

saudi-arabia-brent-crude.htm, accessed 13 April 2012.

 

\14\ Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money,

and Power (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), 284.

 

\15\ SFRC staff discussions, Riyadh, January 2012.

 

\16\ SFRC staff discussions, Riyadh, January 2012, and

Washington DC.

 

\17\ Sharon Otterman, Saudi Arabia: Withdrawal of U.S. Forces

(New York: Council on Foreign Relations, Publications, 2 May

2003), http://www.cfr.org/saudi-arabia/saudi-arabia-withdrawl-

us-forces/p7739, accessed 11 February 2012.

 

\18\ PBS, ``Osama bin Laden v. the U.S.: Edicts and

Statements,'' in Frontline: Hunting Bin Laden, http://

www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/binladen/who/

edicts.html#ixzz1piMOCaXR, accessed 13 April 2012. In 1995, a

car bomb in Riyadh killed five U.S. servicemen, and in 1996, 19

troops were killed in the bombing of the Khobar Towers.

Frequent deadly, though less spectacular, attacks continued

against American commercial and diplomatic interests--as well

as against Saudi and international interests--until 2004, when

Saudi counter-terrorism efforts against al-Qaeda began to get

the upper hand. See also Sharon Otterman, Saudi Arabia:

Withdrawal of U.S. Forces.

 

\19\ Kenneth Katzman, The Persian Gulf States: Issues for U.S.

Policy, 2006, Report RL31533 (Washington, DC: Congressional

Research Service, 21 August 2006), 8.

 

\20\ The International Institute for Strategic Studies, The

Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), 328.

 

\21\ F. Gregory Gause III, ``Saudi Arabia in the New Middle

East,'' Council Special Report No. 63 (New York: Council on

Foreign Relations, 2011), 6-7. King Abdullah commanded the

National Guard for more than three decades, until his son

Prince Mutaib was appointed.

 

\22\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Foreign Military

Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and Other Security

Cooperation, Historical Facts as of 30 September 2010.

 

\23\ Richard Grimmett, U.S. Arms Sales: Agreements with and

Deliveries to Major Clients, 2003-2010, Report R42121

(Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 16 December

2011), 3.

 

\24\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Arms Sales

Notifications, http://www.dsca.mil/PressReleases/36-b/36b--

index.htm, accessed 17 March 2012.

 

\25\ U.S. Department of State, Press Releases: 2011, Special

Joint Press Briefing on U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia, 29

December 2011, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/12/

179777.htm, accessed 29 December 2011.

 

\26\ Christopher Blanchard, Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S.

Relations, Report RL33533 (Washington, DC: Congressional

Research Service, 10 March 2011), 9.

 

\27\ U.S. Departments of Defense and State, Joint Report to

Congress Pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, As

Amended, and the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and

Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008: Foreign Military

Training, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011, http://www.state.gov/t/

pm/rls/rpt/fmtrpt/2011/index.htm, accessed 23 January 2012.

 

\28\ ``Saudi Aircraft Join in Air Force Exercise,'' Air Force

Times, 9 February 2008, http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2008/

02/airforce--red--flag--080209w, accessed 11 March 2012.

 

\29\ U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget

Justification, Foreign Operations, Annex: Regional

Perspectives, Fiscal Year 2013, Washington DC, http://

www.state.gov/documents/organization/185015.pdf, accessed 28

February 2012, 571; and Defense Security Cooperation Agency,

Security Assistance Management Manual, http://www.dsca.mil/

samm/Chapter%2010%20-%20International%20Training.pdf, 427.

 

\30\ Robert Burns, ``U.S. Quietly Expanding Defense Ties with

Saudis,'' Air Force Times, 19 May 2011, http://

www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/05/ap-us-quietly-expanding-

defense-ties-with-saudis-051911, accessed20 January 2012.

 

\31\ SFRC staff discussions, Kuwait, February 2012 and

Washington, DC.

 

\32\ SFRC staff discussions, Kuwait, February 2012.

 

\33\ Kenneth Katzman, Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S.

Policy, Report RS21513 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research

Service, February 8, 2012), 10-11.

 

\34\ The International Institute for Strategic Studies, The

Military Balance 2011, 318.

 

\35\ Ibid., 317-318.

 

\36\ SFRC staff discussions, Kuwait, February 2012.

 

\37\ Combined Maritime Forces, Kuwaiti Navy Leads Stakenet

Exercise, 16 February 2012, http://combinedmaritimeforces.com/

2012/02/16/kuwaiti-navy-leads-stakenet-exercise, accessed 16

February 2012.

 

\38\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Foreign Military

Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and Other Security

Cooperation, Historical Facts as of 30 September 2010.

 

\39\ Joint Report to Congress Pursuant to the Foreign

Assistance Act of 1961, As Amended, and the Department of

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations

Act, 2008: Foreign Military Training, Fiscal Years 2010 and

2011.

 

\40\ SFRC staff discussions, Kuwait, February 2012.

 

\41\ SFRC staff discussions, Bahrain, April 2011.

 

\42\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Bahrain - M1152A1B2

HMMWVs and TOW-2A and TOW-2B Missiles, www.dsca.mil/

PressReleases/36-b/2011/Bahrain--10-71.pdf, accessed 17 March

2012.

 

\43\ John Donnelly, ``Amid the Arab Spring, A Balancing Act in

Bahrain,'' Congressional Quarterly, 5 November 2011, http://

public.cq.com/docs/weeklyreport/weeklyreport-000003976649.html,

accessed 17 March 2012.

 

\44\ U.S. Department of State, Press Releases: 2012, Bahrain

Security Assistance, 27 January 2012, http://www.state.gov/r/

pa/prs/ps/2012/01/182695.htm, accessed 27 January 2012.

 

\45\ Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, Report of the

Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, 23 November 2011,

http://www.bici.org.bh/BICIreportEN.pdf, accessed 12 April

2012, paragraphs 1240, 1584, 1694, and 1698.

 

\46\ International Crisis Group, Conflict Risk Alert: Bahrain,

16 April 2012, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/

media-releases/2012/mena/conflict-risk-alert-bahrain.aspx,

accessed 22 April 2012.

 

\47\ Kenneth Katzman, Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S.

Policy, Report 95-1013 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research

Service, 29 December 2011), 20-21.

 

\48\ Commander Navy Installations Command, CNIC/ Naval Support

Activity Bahrain, http://www.cnic.navy.mil/bahrain/, accessed

20 February 2012.

 

\49\ Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy, 20.

 

\50\ The International Institute for Strategic Studies, The

Military Balance 2011, 305; SFRC staff discussion, Bahrain,

April 2011.

 

\51\ Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy, 21.

 

\52\ Krishna Jackson, Press Release #151-11: U.S. Navy EOD and

Divers and Bahrain Defense Forces Strengthen Partnerships, U.S.

Naval Forces Central Command, 1 December 2011, http://

www.cusnc.navy.mil/articles/2011/151.html, accessed 29 December

2011.

 

\53\ U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget

Justification, Foreign Operations, Annex: Regional

Perspectives, Fiscal Year 2013, http://www.state.gov/documents/

organization/185015.pdf, accessed 10 March 2012.

 

\54\ In past years, Bahrain has purchased advanced U.S. defense

equipment such as F-16s and air-to-air missiles. Defense

Security Cooperation Agency, Foreign Military Sales, Foreign

Military Construction Sales and Other Security Cooperation,

Historical Facts as of 30 September 2010.

 

\55\ In previous years, Bahrain received a U.S. frigate through

this program. U.S. Department of State, Report By The

Department of State Pursuant to Section 655 of the Foreign

Assistance Act of 1961, As Amended: Annual Report of Military

Assistance and Military Exports, Fiscal Year 2011.

 

\56\ Joint Report to Congress Pursuant to the Foreign

Assistance Act of 1961, As Amended, and the Department of

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations

Act, 2008: Foreign Military Training, Fiscal Years 2010 and

2011.

 

\57\ Christopher Blanchard, Qatar: Background and U.S.

Relations, Report RL31718 (Washington, DC: Congressional

Research Service, 16 May 2011), 8-9.

 

\58\ Ibid, 11-12.

 

\59\ U.S. Department of Defense, News Transcript: Media

Availability with Secretary Panetta en Route to Bali,

Indonesia, 21 October 2011, http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/

transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4907, accessed 15 December 2011.

 

\60\ Qatar: Background and U.S. Relations, 9.

 

\61\ SFRC staff discussions, Qatar, February 2012.

 

\62\ Hugh Eakin, ``The Strange Power of Qatar,'' The New York

Review of Books, 27 October 2011, http://www.nybooks.com/

articles/archives/2011/oct/27/strange-power-qatar/, accessed 15

April 2012.

 

\63\ SFRC staff discussion, Qatar, February 2012.

 

\64\ Qatar: Background and U.S. Relations, 9.

 

\65\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Foreign Military

Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and Other Security

Cooperation, Historical Facts as of 30 September 2010.

 

\66\ SFRC staff discussions, Qatar, February 2012.

 

\67\ Department of Defense and the Department of State, Joint

Report to Congress Pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act of

1961, As Amended, and the Department of State, Foreign

Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008:

Foreign Military Training, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011.

 

\68\ SFRC staff discussion, Qatar, February 2012.

 

\69\ The seven Emirates are: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah,

Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. During the Trucial

period, there existed a number of other Sheikhdoms, which were

incorporated over time into these seven.

 

\70\ The three small islands of Abu Musa and Lesser and Greater

Tunb, which are strategically located near the Strait of

Hormuz, have been the subject of dispute since the formation of

the UAE in 1971. The UAE has called upon Iran to resolve the

dispute through direct negotiations or through the

International Court of Justice, but Iran has argued that the

Court does not have jurisdiction. See, Sultan al-Qassemi,

``Iran Picks Awkward Time to Escalate Gulf Tensions,'' Al-

Monitor, 13 April 2012, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/

contents/articles/opinion/2012/al-monitor/iran-picks-awkward-

time-to-escal.html, accessed 22 April 2012.

 

\71\ After spending eight months in jail, the five were

pardoned and released one day after being convicted of anti-

state crimes. Al Jazeera, ``UAE pardons jailed activists,'' 28

November 2011, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/

11/20111128135953601809.html, accessed 10 April 2012.

 

\72\ Kenneth Katzman, The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues

for U.S. Policy, Report RS21852 (Washington, DC: Congressional

Research Service, 23 December 2011), 11-12.

 

\73\ U.S. Department of Defense, News Transcript: Media

Availability with Secretary Panetta en Route to Bali,

Indonesia.

 

\74\ The International Institute for Strategic Studies, The

Military Balance 2011, 335.

 

\75\ Ibid., 333.

 

\76\ Despite its tactical prowess, the UAE's military is still

developing logistics, maintenance, and support capabilities to

sustainment its modern military force.

 

\77\ SFRC staff discussion, UAE, February 2012.

 

\78\ The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy,

14.

 

\79\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Arms Sales

Notifications, http://www.dsca.mil/pressreleases/ 36b/36b--

index.htm, accessed 22 January 2012.

 

\80\ Congressional Research Service, U.S. Arms Sales:

Agreements with and Deliveries to Major Clients, 2003-2010, 3.

 

\81\ Department of Defense and the Department of State, Joint

Report to Congress Pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act of

1961, As Amended, and the Department of State, Foreign

Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008:

Foreign Military Training, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011.

 

\82\ SFRC staff discussion, UAE, February 2012.

 

\83\ Ibid.

 

\84\ United States Central Command, Eagle Resolve 2011 Begins

in United Arab Emirates, http://www.centcom.mil/press-releases/

eagle-resolve-2011-begins-in-united-arab-emirates, accessed 15

March 2012.

 

\85\ Self-governing since the 1740s, Oman maintained colonies

in the 18th and 19th century as far afield as Zanzibar in

present-day Tanzania and Gwadar in present-day Pakistan. A

majority of Omanis practice a form of Islam known as Ibadism,

distinct from both Sunni and Shi'a Islam. Ibadis trace their

lineage to the early decades after the death of the prophet

Mohammed.

 

\86\ United Nations Development Programme, ``Human Development

Report 2010: 20th Anniversary Edition,'' http://hdr.undp.org/

en/media/HDR--2010--EN--Complete--reprint.pdf, pages 29 and 54.

The Human Development Index is a composite measure of life

expectancy, educational attainment and income.

 

\87\ The three American hikers - Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and

Josh Fattal - were arrested on 31 July 2009 by Iranian

officials in the border region between Iran and Iraq. Ms.

Shourd was released on 14 September 2010, and Mr. Bauer and Mr.

Fattal were released on 21 September 2011. In both instances,

President Obama personally thanked Omani officials, as well as

Swiss officials and others, for their efforts on the hikers'

behalf. See The White House, Office of the Press Secretary,

``Statement by the President on the Release of Shane Bauer and

Josh Fattal,'' 14 September 2010, http://www.whitehouse.gov/

the-press-office/2011/09/21/statement-president-release-shane-

bauer-and-josh-fattal; and The White House, Office of the Press

Secretary, ``Statement by the President on the Release of Sarah

Shourd,'' http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/

14/statement-president-release-sarah-shourd, accessed on 12

April 2012.

 

\88\ Kenneth Katzman, Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy,

Report RS21534 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service,

13 January 2012), 8-9.

 

\89\ Ibid.

 

\90\ Brian Bierwith, ``Shaping the Environment: 1-94 Field

Artillery platoon builds relationships with Omani allies ring

combined training in a rugged landscape,'' Northwest Guardian,

1 March 2012, http://www.nwguardian.com/2012/03/01/12375/

shaping-the-environment.html, accessed 10 March 2012.

 

\91\ U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget

Justification, Foreign Operations, Annex: Regional

Perspectives, Fiscal Year 2013.

 

\92\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Foreign Military

Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and Other Security

Cooperation, Historical Facts as of 30 September 2010.

 

\93\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Arms Sales

Notifications, http://www.dsca.mil/PressReleases/36-b/36b--

index.htm, 28 February 2012.

 

\94\ Department of Defense and the Department of State, Joint

Report to Congress Pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act of

1961, As Amended, and the Department of State, Foreign

Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008:

Foreign Military Training, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011.

 

\95\ According to U.S. Energy Information Agency data, the

United States imported 4.1 billion barrels of oil, of which 670

million came from the Persian Gulf, including 436 million

barrels from Saudi Arabia (10.5% of total imports), 168 million

from Iraq (4%), 70 million from Kuwait (1.7%), and marginal

amounts from Oman, the UAE, and Qatar. Other leading sources of

imported crude in 2011 include: Canada, 988 million barrels

(24%); Mexico, 440 million (10.6%); Venezuela, 345 million

(8.3%); Nigeria, 298 million (7.1%); and Russia, 227 million

(5.5%). See U.S. Energy Information Agency, U.S. Imports by

Country of Origin, http://205.254.135.7/dnav/pet/ pet--move--

impcus--a2--nus--ep00--im0--mbbl--a.htm, accessed 11 April

2012.

 

\96\ U.S. Energy Information Agency, Analysis Brief: World Oil

Transit Chokepoints, 20 December 2011, http://www.eia.gov/

countries/regions-topics.cfm?fips=WOTC#hormuz, accessed 11

April 2012.

 

\97\ Simon Williams and Elizabeth Martins, ``Middle East

Economics Q1 2012: Who's at risk in 2012?'', HSBC Global

Research, March 2012, page 3, https://www.research.hsbc.com/

midas/Res/RDV?p=pdf&key=1HRpM5uplF&n=317973.PDF, accessed 22

May 2012.

 

\98\ Mamoud el-Gamal and Amy Jaffe, ``Oil, Dollars, Debt, and

Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold,'' Cambridge University

Press, 2010.

 

\99\ Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, ``Country

Comparison: Unemployment Rate,'' 2012, https://www.cia.gov/

library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/

2129rank.html, accessed 22 May 2012. Guillaume Desjardins,

``UAE Unemployment Is High, but Not for Lack of Jobs,''

cnbc.com, 27 September 2011, http://www.cnbc.com/id/44690025/

UAE--Unemployment--Is--High--but--Not--for--Lack--of--Jobs/

print/1/displaymode/1098/, accessed 22 May 2012.

 

\100\ Richard Shediac and Hatem Samman, ``Meeting the

Employment Challenge in the GCC: The Need for a Holistic

Strategy,'' Booz and Co., June 2010, page 3, http://

www.booz.com/media/uploads/Meeting--the--Employment--

Challenge--in--the--GCC.pdf, accessed 22 May 2012.

 

\101\ Ibid., page 7.

 

\102\ SFRC staff discussion, GCC, February 2012.

 

\103\ Jonathan Sheikh-Miller, ``Oil share dips in Dubai GDP,''

AMEInfo.com, 9 June 2007, http://www.ameinfo.com/cgi-bin/cms/

page.cgi?page=print;link=122863, accessed 22 May 2012.

 

\104\ United Nations Development Programme, ``Human Development

Report 2010: 20th Anniversary Edition,'' http://hdr.undp.org/

en/media/HDR--2010--EN--Complete--reprint.pdf, pages 29 and 54.

The Human Development Index is a composite measure of life

expectancy, educational attainment and income.

 

\105\ Ambassador Ronald Kirk, 2012 Trade Policy Agenda and 2011

Annual Report, United States Trade Representation, March 2012,

http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/reports-and-

publications/2012-0, page 137-138, accessed 22 May 2012.

 

\106\ Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, First Ministerial Meeting

of GCC-U.S. Strategic Cooperation Forum Concludes, 1 April

2012, http://www.saudiembassy.net/latest--news/

news04011202.aspx, accessed 22 April 2012.

 

\107\ U.S. Department of Defense, Unclassified Report on

Military Power of Iran, April 2010, submitted pursuant to

Section 1245 of FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L.

111-84).

 

\108\ In the case of arms sales to most states, the President

must notify Congress of an agreement to sell major defense

equipment of $14 million or more, defense articles or services

for $50 million or more, or any design and construction

services for $200 million or more. Congress must also be

notified before the issuance of any export license for major

defense articles in excess of $14 million or other defense

articles or services in excess of $50 million. After receiving

such notification, Congress has 30 days to adopt a resolution

of disapproval objecting to the sale or the notification is

considered approved.

 

\109\ For additional information on U.S. security assistance,

see http://www.dsca.mil/pubs/29th%20Gbookv2.pdf

 

\110\ The U.S. government designates certain sensitive military

equipment as `Foreign Military Sale (FMS) only,' thereby

precluding its purchase through Direct Commercial Sale (DCS).

If a defense item is available through both FMS and DCS, it is

up to the recipient nation to determine which procurement route

they prefer. The FMS program requires administrative fees that

some countries view as burdensome. On the other hand, FMS sales

are brokered as part of a more bounded process that some states

favor to direct negotiations with U.S. contractors. FMS sales

also carry the weight and security of the U.S. government

behind them - a facet that some recipient countries find

comforting.

 

\111\ Although the U.S. State Department maintains a database

of defense licenses granted to foreign recipients, the database

does not separate those licenses from arms transfers authorized

for U.S. entities in those countries. Therefore, this report

does not capture the exact amount of defense articles and

equipment transferred to GCC States through DCS. See U.S.

Department of State, Report by the Department of State Pursuant

to Section 655 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, As

Amended - Direct Commercial Sales Authorizations for Fiscal

Year 2010, Washington, DC, http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/reports/

documents/rpt655--FY10.pdf, accessed 10 January 2012.

 

\112\ The Arms Export Control Act explicitly states that no

defense articles or services shall be sold or leased to foreign

recipients unless ``the President finds that the furnishing of

defense articles and defense services to such a country or

international organization will strengthen the security of the

United States and promote world peace.'' See Eligibility for

Defense Services or Defense Articles, U.S. Code 22 (1976),

Sec. 2753.

 

\113\ Roy Gutman, ``As U.S. departs Iraq, it leaves two allies

that aren't speaking,'' McClatchy Newspapers, 18 December 2011,

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/12/18/v-print/133219/as-us-

departs-iraq-it-leaves-behind.html. Accessed April 15, 2012.

 

\114\ SFRC discussions, Baghdad, February 2012; Washington,

April 2012.

 

                                 

 

 

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