Ways to Improve the GCC Military Alliance
It is worth noting that the Gulf Cooperation Council military alliance between all the member countries is of significant importance in the verge of promoting security both from external as well as internal sources of threat. However, the efficiency and the effectiveness of the military alliance by the GCC stand a chance for improvement through several ways. First, the GCC it is advisable for the GCC military to compete with the civilian sectors in matters concerning the acquisition of necessary skills suitable for proper functioning in today’s highly technical world. In light of this, it is important to give the commanders maximum freedom when it comes to plan executions and action. This operational readiness rate should prevail not only in air shows but also in real life military exercises.
Reportedly, the Gulf Cooperation Council military alliance, including even the Peninsula Shield Force, operates under a very centralized structure (Al-Jumah, 1997). However, for optimal implementation of the joint military exercises by all the member states, it is of great importance to decentralize the decision making process. The effect of such a move will reflect by producing positive results from the operations of the military alliance, especially in the air force. This means that in so doing, the Gulf Cooperation Council air forces will work under a steadfast military cooperation. This move will also help in attaining the concentration of the force to operate under the economical framework, a good effort in pursuing the main objectives of the Gulf Cooperation Council. This way, not only will the military activities end up successful, but also the other goals of the alliance will be prevail.
Another possible way of improving the military alliance in the Gulf Cooperation Council is by increasing the number of soldiers in the Peninsula Shield Force. It is worth noting that, although the Gulf Cooperation Council does not mention of any military alliance or cooperation, from the strategic observation of how it carries out the military alliance, it is possible to deduce that the objectives of the Peninsula Shield Force include among the following. They are, promoting regional unity, keeping the Gulf region free from international conflicts, participating in efforts to resolve international disputes, and supporting the UN in resolving disputes (Ahmad, 2002, p. 12). In light of this, it is very clear that the average number of total forces from all member countries that join hands to make up the entire Peninsula Shield Force is relatively low and requires an increase. For instance, the strategic fear that the Bahraini Shia protests caused in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries raised the need to implement a serious effort to boost the Peninsula Shield Force members (Neil, 2011, p. 18). The average low number hinders the effective and efficient delivery of services. Thus, increasing that number is one sure way of improving the military alliance in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Other than military oriented activities, the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council can do other actions in the quest of improving the military alliance between them. One of these non-military activities is the increase of economic cooperation. Economic cooperation refers to an integration that would result a close and steadfast relationship between the member state’s economic structures. In this respect, it is worth noting that all these Gulf Cooperation Council Countries are rich in oil production (Ehteshami, 2013, p. 49). A good economic integration would see to it that they form trading blocs that would help them in marketing their oil products without competing amongst themselves. Furthermore, it would even include the introduction of a common Gulf currency in line with such aims that surfaced long before the birth of the current GCC and continued up to 2004 (Low & Salazar, 2011, p. 25). The rationale behind the ability of an economic cooperation strengthening the military alliance is that once successfully implemented, it would result perfect lives in all the member states of the GCC. In the light of this, the military alliance would be motivated to deliver their services since the members would have something in mind urging them to protect and safeguard.
Still on the non-military strategies, it is good noting that the very basic aspect governing an interstate alliance of whatever orientation, be it military, economic, or cultural, is political alignment. The optimal success of the Gulf Cooperation Council military alliance lies also on the extent to which the political environments in the member countries relate. Political differences between the six member states means different strategically approach in all aspects of the alliance. This hinders the success of the military alliance since lengthy discussions have to take place before a uniform strategy emerges. However, the alignment of the political structures between all member states terminates the divisions that elongate the decision-making processes required in the management of an interstate military alliance. This means that the service delivery of is hastened which results to an improvement in the performance of the military alliance.
For a long time, the Gulf Cooperation Council member states have been involving themselves with the winning sides. In short, they like taking sides with superpowers. For instance, during the invasion of Iraq by the US, they took the American side. This was a relatively good pick since Saddam Hussein’s regime was oppressive to them. However, they developed a tendency of relying on the US and other friendly superpowers to an extent that hiders the creativity and ability to make independent military strategies (Kerry, 2012, p. 10). In this respect, ideological growth in the military alliance fails to mature. Thus, refraining from overreliance in superpower countries could enable the military alliance establish and develop independent military strategies free of Western interruptions and thus very suitable in their functionality in the Gulf region (Cordesman, 2003, p. 121). This self-reliance would mean also result to substantial improvement in the Gulf Cooperation Council military alliance.
The Gulf Cooperation Council has helped the Gulf member states to some commendable extent since its inception in the early 1980s. It has not only excelled in the political and economic integration but also in the military alliance, to some extent. Although the gulf Cooperation Council did not have any mention of a military alliance in the Charter, the circumstances cropping form both its strategic position and it natural resources culminated into the formation of a military alliance consisting of troops from all the six member countries. It is true that the military alliance has however suffered a number of challenges, which result from its centralized structure as well as different interests by some member countries. However, while relating to some of the efforts of the military alliance exercises that have happened over time, notable achievements lead to the conclusion that the military alliance has been effective to a significant extent. In specific, the Peninsula Shield Force, part of a GCC military alliance specially functioning in since 1986 has helped in a number of times in defending against external attacks such as the Saudi Arabia and Kuwait attack by Iraq. More so, this military alliance has been effective also in solving internal conflicts happening in member countries, such as the recent protests in Bahrain in the year 2011.
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