GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

Family Name:
dogan akkas
First Name:
Title of Paper:
A Threat to Pan-Gulf Collective Security: Third Party Involvement
Paper Proposal Text :
Gulf states have experienced security concerns and collective defense debates in various aspects. Collective security attempts under the GCC umbrella; bilateral military relations with countries outside the Gulf, and international organizations (NATO) have been used to guarantee national and regional defense. Hence, due to lack of national defense and necessity of energy security, involvement of a third party to security manners has been in the agenda since the beginning of modern times for the Gulf. It can be said that necessity of collective security was obvious through Iran-Iraq wars, Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and 2003 Iraq war. In this regard, time and again individually or as a GCC decision, Gulf States have attempted to establish a common security understanding and organization to bring an active regional security settlement in the region. Although crucial position of collective security in the Gulf agenda, what makes it unachievable for the Gulf states?
Today, due to the lack of national defense ability of Gulf States in the last thirty years under threat, Gulf States have applied third party help for survival. Hence, third party involvement to the regional security and national defense of Gulf States has kept a controversial role in lack of collective security. Two basic perspectives are required to deepen for how a third party involvement could damage pan-Gulf collective security. First of all, when there is a third party involvement to the security, decision-making process for any action will not be only Gulf centered and not by local Gulf leaders. That is the reason how third party involvement leaves the hegemony in the security issues to hands of an outsider power instead of bringing balance of power via collective security prospects. Secondly, security-oriented bilateral relations (for instance Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI)) of Gulf States could impair deterrence in the region through enhancing Gulf States’ national defense or military power on an individual basis without considering regional rivalries and conflicts. Therefore, in this study, these two perspectives on third party involvement to Gulf security will seek to identify in detail.
Reasoning behind the threat by third party involvement to Gulf security is the initial purpose of the study. There are three prominent dimensions to explore why pan-Gulf collective security should follow a unique path. First of all, Arabian Gulf as compose of oil-monarchies that oriented use of wealth by natural resources. Energy security is the vulnerable point in Gulf politics and this title is main common concern of states in Arabian Gulf to strengthen their understanding of common security and defense. There could be always third parties to enhance level of knowledge and to introduce position of Gulf in many manners; however, local governmental or non-governmental bodies on the way of pan-Gulf common security should do the prominent role. Secondly, common security and defense policy could bring rational and compromised ideas on current rivalries and conflicts in the region or related with the region. Third point, when there is a settled common security understanding and decision-making, it will enhance possibility for common stance as Arabian Gulf, in regard of worldwide issues or Middle East politics.
Collective security context has a vital role for Gulf politics and this study aims to contribute current discussions and researches with displaying an overall view to the issue. Creating a collective security in the Gulf will be analyzed initially via official texts published by regional bodies and leaders in the study. The role of ICI and ongoing security cooperation of the GCC countries under the NATO umbrella will keep also crucial role as providing primary sources. In addition to that, the study will be composed of interviews done with regional observers and scholars to enhance general framework of the study through their critics.