The Persian Gulf
Over the coming decade and beyond, America will have to face the enormously complex global security challenges. A mixture of emerging and enduring challenges and threats means that policymakers have to adapt some wide-ranging strategies driving the future security environment (Patrick,2009). Since 9/11 terrorists’ attack of the Pentagon and the WTO, ungoverned spaces and fragile states especially in the Persian Gulf region has risen in stature as a severe security challenge. There is no simple answer to governments’ weakness and no guaranteed way to build effective states (Patrick,2009). Over simplification of cause-and-effect relations between ineffective governments and the universe of ‘terrorism spillover’ attributed to these fragile states forms a basis for security policy decision making (Patrick,2009). There is a growing need to attend to state weakness. This seems a likely bet for the next half-century and the American role will likely be focused on ungoverned spaces and fragile states especially in the Persian Gulf region.
The first time United States of America took security responsibility in the Persian Gulf was in the 1970s. Americans did not want to be involved directly in the wars of the region for example the four Israeli- Arab wars. United States Used surrogates like the Iran’s Shah and the Saudi Arabia King in case the instability of the region threatened the interests of the United States of the America in the Persian Gulf. Later, United States of America was forced to take an active role and a more visible role in the Persian Gulf region. This was because of the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq in the year 1990 and the September 11, 2001 terrorists’ attack of the Pentagon and the WTO (World Trade Centre). In the years of 1990’s, the United States interest in the middle east was maintaining of a supply of oil which was secure and reasonably priced, to support Israel, and reduce the spreading of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and to contain Iraq and Iran (Nathan et al, 2009). The war on terror is far from being won as long as ungoverned spaces and fragile states especially in the Persian Gulf region do not stabilize. While familiarity with al Qaeda terror group and its allies tends to breed contempt, a great concern still remains about them acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction and therefore America must act fast.
Since early 1960s, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman UAE, and Qatar preferred to use nations outside the Middle East in definition of their defense roles and in provision of their security needs. Most of them ended up following the Britain, their colonial rulers, for protection against nations which would periodically storm them. Saudi Arabia which was enjoying the protection of the U S was the only exception. In 1971, Britain withdrew its protection and most of these states turned to America for protection. The responsibility of United States in these states is to guarantee them the provision of security in exchange of oil access, arm sales and investment. However, prior to the 1973 Israeli-Arab war, the American unwillingness to fill the power vacuum left by Great Britain as a result of its decision in 1971 to withdraw its forces from the area including the Persian Gulf strengthened the perception of Iran as being the main protector of security in Gulf.
As the strongest military power and the most populous in the area and its vast oil reserves- through which some of its oil must pass to world markets, Iran was keen to undertake this responsibility for Gulf security. However after the 1973 war, Saudi Arabia emerged as a financial power in the world and it seemed to be regarded as the key player of US policy in the Persian Gulf for a time. The America Administration at the time seemed to have some preference for Saudi Arabia with its financial power as contrasted with the military supremacy of Iran. However, the idea died on soon. Saudi Arabia lacked the military influence and population essential for playing this major security role in the Gulf region, and moreover the Saudi administration at the time was unwilling to assume such a role.
About the conflict of the Arabs and Israel, America has played a key role in the trying to end this conflict. Israel seems to corporate more with United States to an extent that they agreed to, and actually allowed the equipping and training of the Palestine defense by the United States. The United States has been very active in the security issues between Israel and the Arab countries such that at some point, the state of Syria demanded that America stops engaging in such a dominant role. The solution to Israelites and the Arabs disagreements is extremely fundamental for the national security of the United States as well as the whole world.
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