On the 28. September met us Secretary of state Mike Pompeo with six of his colleagues from the Gulf cooperation Council (GCC), as well as representatives from Egypt and Jordan, and confirmed that they will provide a strategic Alliance in the Middle East (MESA) on the legs. There was lip service about containing terror and to bring peace to Syria. But their priority was clear: "to stop Iran’s vile activities."
An Arab Nato?
excited Official from America and Arab countries, scheduled for January, is already a peak, call it already as an Arab NATO. The annual defence spending of the Alliance would exceed 100 billion dollars, America not counting. The Alliance would take command of the 300,000 soldiers, 5,000 tanks and 1,000 combat aircraft.
But MESA is his nickname, probably not. The Alliance is not expected to act according to the Motto: if a Partner is attacked, that is for all the partners. A principle that is anchored in the Western Alliance and the Trump undermined. In addition, previous efforts to form a military unit in the Arab countries, ended with a disappointment.
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The Arab coalitions have been humiliated in almost all the Wars with Israel. Shortly after the founding of the GCC in 1981, the " was launched;Peninsula Shield Force". The military Alliance was not only in the Gulf war as useless. In the following years, Saudi and Qatar killing even of troops in border conflicts with each other. In 2014, the idea of a common GCC was revived commands. It has brought little.
Smaller States have to fear, control, greater
to submit A Problem is that smaller States are afraid of the control of larger neighbouring countries. In the 1960s, it was still Egypt, which caused uncertainty. Today, it is Saudi Arabia, which is under the De facto rule of the ambitious crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. Worrying his Obsession with Iran. Although he is supported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Oman, the threat posed by Iran is not so acute.
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A third Problem is that many Arab States are making the enemies out of the country for unrest in their own country, protests and terrorism. Even Trump is not likely to be eager to help its autocratic allies in the name of defending against dissenters.
Biggest hurdle: a dispute between Arab States
But the biggest hurdle for MESA of the dispute between the Arab States. For over a year, Qatar is blocked because of its contrarian positions of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. The feud has on the military cooperation. This has led to the fact that America is taking part since last October to the military Exercises of its allies in the Gulf, the "promote inclusion". America’s main base in the Region is located in Qatar.
MESA is probably befall the same fate as the other half-baked defense programs – by the joint defense Council of the Arab League from 1950 to the Islamic military coalition to fight terrorism in 2015. "Every few years someone comes up with a great idea, therefore," says Emile Hokayem from the "International Institute for Strategic Studies", a think-tank from London. "people work for a year like crazy. And at the end they present a dazzling new building and a series of PowerPoint slides."
the United States wants to go back to the presence in the middle East
more Important than any multilateral Block of America is a firm commitment to engage further in the Region. But here, too, there is a discrepancy between words and deeds. America has promised to remain with his troops in Syria, "as long as the Iranian forces located outside of Iran’s borders". But for six months no American aircraft carrier is more in the Persian Gulf. As long as for 20 years, not more. Next month America will deduct four missile defense systems from Bahrain, Jordan and Kuwait. Now, if Iran threatens the main cities in the Gulf with a missile attack.
After 17 years of war, without interruption, the American Secretary of defense James Mattis wants to continue the military presence in the Middle East. Trump, it is probably better to sell to its Arab allies weapons, to move to their side in the battle.
This article first appeared in the Economist, and was translated by Patrick Steinke from the English.
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*The contribution of “Bad prospects for a new Arab military Alliance” of The Economist. There is no editorial review by FOCUS Online. Contact with the executives here.