Arms race

 25 Jul 2013 - 1:49

 

Some people showed interest in a recent survey by the Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies, but only after the US World Tribune published it. This is always the case -- we ignore studies published locally, and celebrate them only after they are quoted elsewhere.

The report said military expenditure per capita in the Gulf countries is the highest in the world, surpassing Britain and Israel. This in turn has led to the growth of public and foreign debt in these countries.

Spending more on arms, however, has not eliminated the need for foreign military presence in these countries. There are around 50,000 foreign troops in the GCC states, and they are dependent on Western military protection.  

The aforementioned report concludes with the usual recommendations -- which we repeat over and over again -- regarding the need for enhancing cooperation between GCC countries and the need for building strong regional military forces. 

Prior to the publication of the Gulf Centre’s report, official British government reports disclosed that Israel had sold military equipment to Arab, Gulf and Islamic countries, including Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Pakistan, over the past five years. 

Prior to this report, another report issued by the British government had said that Israel had sold military equipment to several Arab, GCC and Islamic countries, including Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Pakistan, during the past five years. 

Giving reasons for the GCC states’ arms purchases, including anti-missile systems and drones, the report said these were not to confront Israel, which provides some Arab countries these weapons, but to acquire the ability to stand up to Iran’s influence and policies in the region.  

Popular uprisings, radical changes in the Middle East and North Africa, the need to face internal turmoil and demands for political reforms, and easy access to weapons at a time of global recession were cited as other reasons. 

Patrick Dewar, vice-president for strategy and business development at Lockheed Martin, an American defence company, has said that there have been talks with some Gulf countries to create a Gulf missile shield, which is possible. 

The countries of the region, however, are concerned about their sovereignty and work according to their own needs. This means there is no vision defining the reasons behind the demand for weapons, the type of weapons they need, the volume, and how they are going to use them.     

This is leading to a sharp rise in public and external debt in Gulf countries. This in turn can bring these countries to the verge of bankruptcy, particularly in the event of a sharp decline in oil prices.

 

Some people showed interest in a recent survey by the Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies, but only after the US World Tribune published it. This is always the case -- we ignore studies published locally, and celebrate them only after they are quoted elsewhere.

The report said military expenditure per capita in the Gulf countries is the highest in the world, surpassing Britain and Israel. This in turn has led to the growth of public and foreign debt in these countries.

Spending more on arms, however, has not eliminated the need for foreign military presence in these countries. There are around 50,000 foreign troops in the GCC states, and they are dependent on Western military protection.  

The aforementioned report concludes with the usual recommendations -- which we repeat over and over again -- regarding the need for enhancing cooperation between GCC countries and the need for building strong regional military forces. 

Prior to the publication of the Gulf Centre’s report, official British government reports disclosed that Israel had sold military equipment to Arab, Gulf and Islamic countries, including Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Pakistan, over the past five years. 

Prior to this report, another report issued by the British government had said that Israel had sold military equipment to several Arab, GCC and Islamic countries, including Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Pakistan, during the past five years. 

Giving reasons for the GCC states’ arms purchases, including anti-missile systems and drones, the report said these were not to confront Israel, which provides some Arab countries these weapons, but to acquire the ability to stand up to Iran’s influence and policies in the region.  

Popular uprisings, radical changes in the Middle East and North Africa, the need to face internal turmoil and demands for political reforms, and easy access to weapons at a time of global recession were cited as other reasons. 

Patrick Dewar, vice-president for strategy and business development at Lockheed Martin, an American defence company, has said that there have been talks with some Gulf countries to create a Gulf missile shield, which is possible. 

The countries of the region, however, are concerned about their sovereignty and work according to their own needs. This means there is no vision defining the reasons behind the demand for weapons, the type of weapons they need, the volume, and how they are going to use them.     

This is leading to a sharp rise in public and external debt in Gulf countries. This in turn can bring these countries to the verge of bankruptcy, particularly in the event of a sharp decline in oil prices.