Building Security in the Persian Gulf

Building Security in the Persian Gulf

ROBERT E. HUNTER
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 202
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg944
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  • Book Info
    Building Security in the Persian Gulf
    Book Description:

    The United States must determine how best to promote long-term security and stability in the Persian Gulf region while seeking to reduce the risks and costs imposed by its role as a permanent regional power. The author analyzes Iraq's future, the role of Iran, asymmetric threats, regional reassurance, regional tensions, and the roles of other external actors. He then sets out criteria and requirements for a new regional security structure.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-5023-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xxii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    As of the time of writing, the United States has begun winding down at least major elements of its engagement in Iraq.¹ However this process finally works out, in particular before the end of 2011, when the U.S.-Iraqi Security Agreement calls for the complete departure of deployed U.S. forces,² it is clear that the U.S. relationship with Iraq will change significantly compared with what it has been during the last few years. There will be anafter-Iraqsituation of some shape, character, and timing. But what comes after that? What U.S. strategy toward Iraq and, following the shift in U.S....

  9. CHAPTER TWO The Basic Framework
    (pp. 7-12)

    A basic purpose of this work is to determine what, as it reshapes its attitudes, policies, approaches, and engagements regarding the Persian Gulf region, the United States can usefully do, along with others in and out of the region, to develop, foster, and implement a new security structure for the region. A cardinal principle of that security structure should be to provide both benchmarks and a strategic perspective on the basis of which to judge individual policies; to create a set of principles, understandings, and, possibly, some institutions; and to guide U.S. policies and activities and those of others. Ideally,...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Background and Context
    (pp. 13-26)

    For the purposes of this analysis of terms and conditions for creating a new and viable security structure for the region of the Persian Gulf, the benchmark moment for comparison of the past and the future is chosen, not all that arbitrarily, as 1979.¹ To be sure, the Persian Gulf and the broader Middle East had not been all that stable even before that time, although, except during the periods of direct combat between Israel and its neighbors (in 1967 and 1973), there had not been significant shocks to the system of regional security since about the 1950s, the time...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR The Core Challenges for a New Security Structure
    (pp. 27-56)

    For a region as complex at the Persian Gulf, with so many conflicting interests and so many different players—some of which are states, and some of which are nonstate actors inside or outside the region—it is difficult to present in a reasonably short form all of the requirements for a workable security structure. At the very least, there is the question,Workable from whose perspective?From the perspective of the United States, and of its friends and allies, the answer needs to beour perspective. Of course, that answer is clearly not good enough. For a security structure...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Elements of Security Reassurance
    (pp. 57-66)

    Five key elements of U.S. activity within the Persian Gulf region that relate to fulfilling the requirement for security reassurance are as follows: the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, U.S. policy and approaches regarding Iran, U.S. forces in and near the region, formal security guarantees, and a U.S. nuclear guarantee. These and other elements of security reassurance are discussed in this chapter.

    The United States should conduct the withdrawal and repositioning of its forces from Iraq in a way and at a pace such that it is seen to be acting within a valid strategic framework regarding its own...

  13. CHAPTER SIX The Arab-Israeli Conflict
    (pp. 67-78)

    The subject of this chapter is a key element of U.S. activity that is sufficiently important and has such a long and checkered pedigree that it needs to be discussed on its own: the Arab-Israeli conflict and the role that the United States either does or does not play in trying to resolve it.

    All calculations about a security structure for the Persian Gulf—indeed, all calculations about the politics of the Middle East and about U.S. engagement in the region—continually return to the question of the Arab-Israeli conflict and, more particularly, to the conflict between Israel and what,...

  14. CHAPTER SEVEN Regional Tensions, Crises, and Conflicts
    (pp. 79-82)

    Security, as the term has so far been used here, is assumed to be about external threats or challenges to regional countries—e.g., from Iran or from terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda—and about internal strife and conflict in Iraq. But any security structure worthy of its name also has to take account of tensions, crises, and the possibility of conflicts between individual countries in the region, including members of any new formal security structure that is developed. This work has already introduced the security issue that currently exists in regard to the threats posed by the PKK in...

  15. CHAPTER EIGHT The Roles of Other External Actors
    (pp. 83-92)

    This discussion has focused almost entirely on the roles that the United States could play in any new regionwide security structure for the Persian Gulf. As the discussion has made clear, however, one reason for analyzing alternatives for such a structure is precisely to determine whether the United States will be able to reduce both its exposure and its responsibilities in a manner consistent with protecting its security and other interests. This assessment excludes the possibility that U.S. leaders might seek to retain, through various instruments, a dominant position in the region for reasons that extend into the realm of...

  16. CHAPTER NINE Building Blocks for a Regional Security Structure
    (pp. 93-120)

    In considering the creation of a regional security structure for the Persian Gulf, an important point to ponder is whether there is value in creating formal political and security commitments among various countries in the region and perhaps even in requiring that this be done before other steps are taken. These commitments could take many forms. One common form iscollective security, which is an “all-against-one” approach designed to provide incentives for all members to support what is agreed by all to be a common good in the interest of common security against any threat from any member (in the...

  17. CHAPTER TEN Arms Control and Confidence-Building Measures
    (pp. 121-144)

    The development of a new security structure for the Persian Gulf region can incorporate both arms-control measures and CBMs. Indeed, such measures are an essential part of a security structure that is effective because they benefit the security and political interests of the participants.¹ Arms-control measures and CBMs can have material value in providing a reference point for judging the actions of others, a benchmark for behavior, and a functional approach to building security in the largest sense of the term. The primary differences between the two types of measures can be seen in their timing, scope, and subject matter....

  18. CHAPTER ELEVEN Conclusions and Recommendations
    (pp. 145-148)

    This work has sought to look not just at current events and immediate security requirements in the Persian Gulf region, especially with the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq and the continuation of tensions between Iran and a number of Western countries, but also at the longer-term future. In doing so, it has outlined and analyzed key elements of a possible new securitystructurefor the Persian Gulf and environs with the twin primary goals of increasing the likelihood of long-term stability in the region and reducing requirements, over time, for U.S. and other Western engagement (compared with what otherwise...

  19. APPENDIX Documents
    (pp. 149-158)
  20. Bibliography
    (pp. 159-176)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 177-177)