The Question of Yemen

For quite some time now, countries at the centre of the world — Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya and even Lebanon for that matter — have had their share of troubles and disturbances. Be it the Arab Spring or militant insurgency, the overall atmosphere in most countries of the region has been turbulent, to say the least.

However, right next to these countries, the Gulf states, in spite of all their internal and external problems, have enjoyed relative comfort. Partly due to the fact that the natives of Gulf tend to prefer political stability over chaos, and partly on account of the cash reserves that oil and hydrocarbons keep generating, the Gulf states have, by and large, kept insurgency and instability away from their respective territories.

Yet, this does not imply that life is a bed of roses for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In fact, of late, the GCC has been doing its share of research and brainstorming over security and diplomacy issues. As of now, the security calculations of Gulf countries are being radically shaken.

Security in GCC

By now, member-states of GCC have realized that USA, thus far their biggest ally, is nothing beyond a fair-weather friend. Furthermore, turmoil in states such as Egypt, Libya and most importantly, Yemen and Bahrain, has compelled GCC countries like Saudi Arabia to reconsider traditional security tactics and implement a new policy for this purpose.

One cannot entirely blame the Gulf states for this — Iranian influence is ever on the rise, and the sectarian divide in countries such as Syria and Bahrain is genuinely testing the collective resolve and intent of GCC.

However, whilst the GCC is now aware of the need of new security measures, it is still largely clueless about which measure to take and how to implement them. Saudi Arabia and its allies have realized that factors such as ISIS, Iranian dominance, the Assad regime in Syria are all the part of the problem and need to be addressed at the earliest, but the solutions are yet to be discovered. Western intervention, for example, is hardly a solution.

Plus, the ongoing issues in Yemen have added another dimension to the entire problem, because GCC’s southern neighbour is undergoing strife that is both political and sectarian in nature. Add to it the fact that Bahrain is also witnessing dissent in its ranks, and the GCC has a lot to worry about.

The Case of Yemen

Yemen has seen its share of issues in the past, but the recent illegitimate coup mastered by the Houthi rebels has torn the country in two parts. The Gulf Cooperation Council is aware of the threat posed by the Houthi rebels, and as such, when Yemen’s President Mansour Hadi was forced to flee to Aden, the Gulf states too decided to move their diplomatic missions to Aden itself, thereby sending a direct message to the rebels that GCC does not approve of their militancy and violence.

Saudi Arabia had already undertaken measures to construct security barriers in its provinces of Najran and Jizan. Yet, all said and done, Yemen cannot be isolated or detached from GCC. Now that Riyadh has a new monarch, the manner in which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will respond to the crisis in Yemen will decide the route the GCC might opt for.

A Joint Military Command?

The military budget of Gulf states reaches tens of billions per annum. As such, the GCC Peninsula Shield Force might seem to be a viable option for intervention in Yemen. However, it must be noted that Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain are actively contributing to the international coalition against the Islamic State and as such, neither of them seem to be in a position to undertake an extra expedition, be it in Yemen or Syria.

At the end of it all, this is perfect moment for the Gulf Cooperation Council to get its act together. If the member-states of GCC can put in place a feasible and operative security strategy, they can easily ward off unwanted Western intervention and simultaneously ensure the stability of an otherwise troubled neighbourhood.

With the Houthi terrorists eager to establish their control in the southern part of the region, the GCC needs to be cautious and focus on actual implementation of security tactics.

Funds and hydrocarbons cannot purchase peace and stability. Therefore, time has come for less words and more actions on part of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Sufyan bin Uzayr writes for several print and online publications, and regularly blogs about issues of contemporary relevance at Political Periscope (www.politicalperiscope.com). You can connect with him using Facebook (http://facebook.com/sufyanism) or Google+ (https://plus.google.com/+SufyanbinUzayr?rel=author) or email him at sufyan@politicalperiscope.com

More articles by:

Sufyan bin Uzayr is the author of Sufism: A Brief History”. He writes for several print and online publications, and regularly blogs about issues of contemporary relevance at Political Periscope. You can also connect with him using Facebook or Google+ or email him at sufyanism@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Natoli
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
Binoy Kampmark
The Disgruntled Former Prime Minister
Faisal Khan
Is Dubai Really a Destination of Choice?
Arnold August
The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual
James Munson
An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections
Nyla Ali Khan
Women as Repositories of Communal Values and Cultural Traditions
Dan Bacher
Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California
Christopher Brauchli
When Depravity Wins
Robby Sherwin
Here’s an Idea
Susan Block
Cucks, Cuckolding and Campaign Management
Louis Proyect
The Mafia and the Class Struggle (Part Two)
David Yearsley
Smoke on the Water: Jazz in San Francisco
Elliot Sperber
All of Those Bezos