Breaking Defense quotes Resident Senior Fellow Bilal Saab on the political–not just technical–hurdles that face Middle Eastern nations attempting to implement regional missile defense initiatives:

“The problem with hardware is it doesn’t operate in a political vacuum,” said Atlantic Council senior fellow Bilal Saab. “Without closer political relations and greater trust among the Gulf partners, this missile defense business isn’t going to go very far,” he said. Yet he’s found it politically impossible just to get defense attaches from Gulf countries to sit down together in Washington for an unofficial wargame. As far as he can tell, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are doing no joint planning or exercises for an Iranian attack. In fact, he said, the GCC countries don’t even agree on the severity of the Iranian threat.

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