Securing the Gulf: Key Threats and Options for Enhanced Cooperation
February 19, 2013
The US and its Arab Gulf allies face the steadily increasing threat that some form of conflict may occur with Iran in the coming years, and accordingly, they must develop the most effective possible deterrent to Iran’s military ambitions. The Arab Gulf states are already making major progress in developing suitable deterrent and war fighting capabilities which offer the best hope of pushing Iran into meaningful negotiations, as well as containing it any conflict if it begins.
There is, however, much more that the Arab Gulf states can do to exploit their vast superiority in military spending and arms imports, and to make their forces effective. The Burke Chair is issuing a new study of how these improvements can be made, of how the Arab Gulf states can create a more effective approach to collective security as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and of how the US can adjust its strategy to become a more effective partner. This study is entitled Securing the Gulf: Key Threats and Options for Enhanced Cooperation. It is available on the CSIS web site at https://csis.org/files/publication/130219_Securing_the_Gulf.pdf
The study’s contents include:
The Arab Gulf States: Security Challenges and Threats 1
INTERNAL STABILITY AS THE FOUNDATION OF ALL OTHER ASPECTS OF SECURITY 1
COUNTERTERRORISM AND INTERNAL SECURITY 1
EXTERNAL THREATS: THE PERIPHERY AND IRAN 2
Iranian Asymmetric and Irregular Warfare Threats 3
Iranian Conventional Military Threats 6
Iranian vs. Arab Gulf Air and Air Defense Resources 7
Iranian vs. Arab Gulf Naval Resources 2
Iranian vs. Arab Gulf Land Resources 15
Iraq as the Wild Card 16
Iranian Long-Range Missiles and Weapons of Mass Destruction 23
Iran’s Longer-Range Missile Forces 23
Iran and Weapons of Mass Destruction 30
Reinforcing the Strengths of the Arab Gulf States 34
THE SEARCH FOR UNITY IN THE ARAB GULF 34
PRESSURES FOR GREATER UNITY 35
AREAS OF GROWING COOPERATION 38
ARAB GULF STATE SECURITY COOPERATION WITH THE US, THE UK, AND FRANCE 39
Making Effective Use of Vastly Superior Resources 47
Further Efforts to Strengthen Interoperability, Integration, and the GCC 52
PLANNING AND INTEROPERABILITY 52
Create a GCC Force Planning Exercise 52
Create a Standardization and Interoperability Committee and Staff 53
Create a Technology and Procurement Committee and Staff 53
Create a Working Group on Arms Control 53
COORDINATE LOGISTICS, SUSTAINABILITY, AND READINESS 53
BUILDING COMMON TRAINING AND EXERCISE CAPACITY 54
Survey Training Facilities to determine how to ensure best use on a GCC-wide basis 54
Focus on Key Contingencies 54
COMMAND, CONTROL, COMMUNICATIONS, COMPUTER, INTELLIGENCE (C4I), SENSOR, AND BATTLE MANAGEMENT (BM SYSTEMS 54
Create a Fully Integrated Air and Surface-to-Air Missile Unit Control and Warning System 55
Create a Fully Integrated Maritime Surveillance System 55
Create a Joint Intelligence Center 55
GCC Net Assessment Group 56
PREPARING FOR MISSILE AND WMD THREATS 56
Areas For Improved Planning and Dialogue 57
Create a Joint, Integrated Missile Defense System 57
FOCUSING ON OTHER KEY MISSION AREAS 60
Iraq, the Iraqi Border and Kuwaiti “Hinge” 60
Yemen Border Security and Threats 60
Mine, Anti-Submarine (ASW), and Naval Asymmetric Warfare 61
Strait/Gulf of Oman/Indian Ocean/Red Sea/Horn of Africa 62
IMPROVING INTERNAL SECURITY EFFORTS 62
GCC Identity Cards, Passport Data 62
A GCC-wide Intelligence Effort for Counterterrorism and Dealing with Popular Unrest 63
GCC Internal Security Center 63
Common Counterterrorism Training 63
Common Police and Crowd Control Standards and Training 63
A GCC-Wide Rapid Reaction Forces for Counterterrorism and Dealing with Violent Unrest 64
IMPROVING ENERGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY: PASSIVE DEFENSE 64
CREATING MORE EFFECTIVE COOPERATION WITH POWER PROJECTION FORCES OUTSIDE THE GCC 65
Partnership with Europe (UK and France) 65
Partnership with the US 66
ENCOURAGING STABILITY THROUGH ECONOMIC, EDUCATIONAL, AND SOCIAL MEASURES 66
GCC Domestic and Foreign Labor Policies 67
Setting Common Social and Economic Standards/Goals 67
Building Dignity, Trust, and Faith in Government Integrity 68
Creating GCC Study and Planning Efforts 68
THE IMPORTANCE OF INTEGRATED CIVIL-MILITARY SECURITY EFFORTS 69
This study draws on two detailed analyses of the military balance in the Gulf. Part One -- the analysis of the asymmetric and conventional balance in the Gulf, US and Iranian competition, and US strategic interests in the region -- is now available on the CSIS web site: This study is entitled: US and Iranian Strategic Competition: The Conventional and Asymmetric Dimensions, and is now available on the CSIS web site at http://csis.org/program/us-and-iranian-strategic-competition.
Part II– covering Iran’s missile forces, nuclear developments, and Israeli and US options for preventive strikes and containment has also been updated. It is entitled US and Iranian Strategic Competition: The Missile and Nuclear Dimensions and is available on the CSIS web site at http://csis.org/program/us-and-iranian-strategic-competition.
Other recent studies in this series include a study entitled Patterns of Violence in Iraq, http://csis.org/publication/patterns-violence-iraq, and the following additional studies on U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition, http://csis.org/program/burke-chair-strategy.
U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition: The Sanctions game: Energy, Arms Control, and Regime Change - Examines the impact of sanctions on the Iranian regime, Iran’s energy sector, and the prospects for regime change in Tehran.
Iraq After US Withdrawal: US Policy and the Iraqi Search for Security and Stability - Examines the role Iran has played in Iraq since 2003, and how the US has tried to counter it.
U.S.-Iranian Competition in the Levant: Parts I & II – Examine the changing military balance in the region; US and Iranian interests in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Egypt and Syria; and the internal stability of each state in a time of political upheaval.
The United States and Iran: Competition involving Turkey and the South Caucasus - Analyzes the US and Iranian competition over influence in Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Competition in Afghanistan, Central Asia, and Pakistan - Examines the important role Iran plays in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, and how the US and Iranian rivalry affects Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia.
U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition: The Impact of China and Russia - Examines the complex and evolving relationships between China, Russia, Iran and the US.
U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition: Competition Involving the EU, EU3, and non-EU European States - Examines the role the EU, and in particular the EU3, have played as the U.S.’s closest allies in its competition with Iran.
U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition: Peripheral Competition Involving Latin America and Africa - Examines the extent and importance of the competition between the US and Iran in the rest of the world.