Could new sales tilt the Gulf states to unify military forces?
bbc / Bill Law
10-Jan-2012 (one comment)

A huge new arms deal between the United States and Saudi Arabia may signal a push towards a unified military force in the Gulf.

In a deal that was announced in Washington on Christmas Eve, the Americans are shipping US $60 billion worth of fighter jets, helicopters and upgrades to the Saudis.

Just five days later the Pentagon announced another deal to sell missiles and related technology worth $3.5 billion to the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE package includes an anti-ballistic missile system called THAAD which is designed to destroy missiles both within and beyond the earth's atmosphere.

This marks the first time this highly sophisticated system has been sold outside America.

Darius Kadivar

Arms to the Persian Gulf

by Darius Kadivar on


as the US and its Gulf allies continue to shore up defensive preparedness in the face of threats from Iran, pressure is growing on the smaller Gulf states to consider throwing in their military capabilities with the Saudis.

Such a move would underline both a growing anxiety over Iranian intentions and the ineffectiveness of the Gulf Co-opertaion Council's own Peninsula Shield Force which was established in 1984.

The force was intended to protect member states from military aggression but it proved completely incapable of doing so when one of its states, Kuwait, was invaded by Saddam Hussein in 1990.


The only other military action of note was the intervention in March of last year to assist Bahraini authorities in quelling protests in the capital city Manama. The island kingdom is linked to Saudi Arabia by a causeway.