GRM 2010 GRM 2011

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Drawing the contours of a Collective Security Arrangement in the Gulf: An Indian Role
Paper Proposal Text :
Abstract of the Paper by Sanjay Singh on
Drawing the contours of a Collective Security Arrangement in the Gulf:
An Indian Role

At a time when the region around the Gulf and even the Gulf itself is wracked by conflict and confrontation, it would be normal to take a narrow view of Collective Security. However to effectively attain it this must be viewed as an overarching concept related to the protection and the promotion of the well-being of every resident of the Region as well as maintenance of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of each country of the peninsula. It would also imply creation of environment which promotes growth and development and enhances the welfare of each resident.

This would require equal attention to be paid to both internal and external security. Externally it would require effective diplomatic interactions and adequate defense capability. Internally it would require creation of strong institutions, social harmony, law and order, justice and good governance. It would also require promotion of the welfare of each resident and ensuring equity and inclusion.

The Gulf is beset by both external and internal challenges. North of it lie the conflict ridden states of Iraq and Syria, unsettled Palestine and an Iran whose ambitions are not clear. It's long coastline and vast maritime zone bring with them their own challenges of keeping them peaceful and ensuring the protection of the sea lanes of communication vital for trade and energy flows as well as of offshore oil and gas installations. In the Gulf itself economic disparity creates its own problems. Its security demands a secure periphery and peace and stability in the peninsula essential for growth and development.

The Gulf also faces considerable non-traditional threats from forces of extremism, terrorism, piracy, organised crime, drug and arms running, and religious differences. In the long run the region will need to ensure its food, water and environmental security and graduate out of overt dependence on fossil fuels being the primary source of income. It will also need to protect its interests in the global commons, deal with cyber security, nuclear proliferation, pandemics and natural disasters.
The Gulf countries enclosed in an interconnected peninsula cannot afford to be insular and will need to share sovereignty and develop collective security by building institutional arrangements and cooperate towards meeting each of these challenges.

India a country of over a billion residents spread over a contiguous sub continent has over the course of the last 70 years since it attained independence dealt with similar problems with considerable success. Building on its centuries-long civilizational interaction with the peoples of the Gulf region independent India has developed very close symbiotic, strategic and mutually beneficial relationships with each country of the Gulf. In the longer term India’s stability and security will be increasingly interlinked with that of the Gulf. On the other hand, its economic growth and socio political stability provides the countries of the Gulf considerable opportunities. It has developed institutional mechanisms to share its expertise in promoting peace and security and the development of institutions to promote equitable and sustainable development. There is therefore much to be gained by both the Gulf and India through their interactions. This paper will attempt to develop these ideas in greater detail.