Gulf Cooperation Council

  • Can Tourism Save Oman from Cheap Oil?

    Of all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, non-OPEC Oman is most vulnerable to low oil prices. In the 1990s, the sultanate discovered that its oil reserves were substantially smaller than previously thought and Oman’s sovereign wealth fund is a fraction of the size of other GCC nations.
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  • How Might the FED’s Policy Affect the Middle East?

    The US Federal Reserve (FED) announced its most anticipated policy change in December 2015: the long-awaited modest increase in short-term interest rates, which formally marked the beginning of a “Strong Dollar” period in the global economy. Coupled with the upcoming rate hikes in 2016, this policy will not only impact the US economy, but will also affect the economic, financial, social, and political structures of emerging market economies—including the already-fragile and stagnant economies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
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  • The Saudi/Iran Break: Politics of Fear in the Gulf

    Saudi Arabia’s decision to break diplomatic ties with Iran represents another chapter in the politics of fear that have dominated Saudi military and diplomatic moves since the ascension of King Salman just shy of a year ago. The fear finds its main source in the Saudi conviction that Iran is intent on displacing it as a regional power and thus needs to be countered in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. The Saudi leadership also sees elements of its own Shia population as a threat to stability and as agents of Iranian influence. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and other Sunni terror groups operating in and around the kingdom are an added challenge, but one that is not perceived by Saudi leaders to be on the same level as the threat posed by Iran.

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  • Is the United States a Less Reliable Ally?

    Some Arab Gulf states seen looking at Russia, China as ‘alternatives’

    The United States’ friends and allies in the Middle East see Washington as a less reliable partner and are “talking fairly openly about alternatives” such as Russia and China, retired Gen. James L. Jones, Jr., a former US National Security Advisor, said on Dec. 8.

    For example, the United Arab Emirates’ military is operating Chinese-made drones in Yemen because it couldn’t get US drones, Jones, who served in the Obama administration and is currently Chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, said during a panel discussion in Washington.

    “The United States has lost a lot of the traditional confidence in the region and we need to figure out a way to rebuild that confidence,” he said.

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  • Jones on Iran and Terrorism

    The National quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Chairman General James L. Jones, Jr. on possibilities for regional corporation against terrorism between Gulf Cooperation Council countries:

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  • The Potential Missile Race in the Middle East

    Hours after the conclusion of the Iran nuclear deal, President Barack Obama reiterated the administration’s policy of working with the Gulf Cooperation Council to integrate the region’s disparate missile defense systems.
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  • Saab on Gulf Shared Missile Defense System

    The National quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Bilal Y. Saab on the logistics of creating and implementing a shared missile defense system among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states: 

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  • ISIS Attempts to Shake the Gulf

    Another suicide bombing has shaken the Gulf region, as young Saudi Abdallah Fahd Abdallah Rashid blew himself up at a checkpoint in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on July 16. Rashid conducted the bombing just after killing his uncle, a colonel with the Saudi Ministry of Interior.
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  • The Middle East Transformed by Iran Agreement? Take a Deep Breath; Here’s Why Not

    The reactions to the nuclear agreement with Iran announced July 14 were utterly predictable. Those against the agreement yesterday are those against the agreement today. Those for it are still for it. The Obama administration will fight for its approval by Congress and the Netanyahu administration will fight against it. Republican presidential hopefuls are all against it.  Democratic hopefuls (at least one) is for it. And all this was before ten in the morning.

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  • Gramer and Daniels: France Fills the American Arms Void

    Transatlantic Security Initiative Assistant Director Robbie Gramer and Middle East Peace and Security Initiative Program Assistant Owen Daniels write for Politico on new French defense contracts with Gulf states in light of strained negotiations between the United States and its partners in the region:

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