Pirates and the Need for Collective Security in the Persian Gulf

The capture of the Saudi-oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden by Somali pirates illustrates both the Persian Gulf countries’ dependence upon maritime commerce and their inability secure the regional shipping lines upon which they are so dependent. Naval forces from India, Russia, and the United States have moved into the region to address the pirate threat, but even they have not been able to put a stop to it. Perhaps it is time for countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council to invest in their own joint naval force capable of policing the region’s shipping lanes.  While the assistance of the U.S. and Russia in policing regional waters has undoubtedly been helpful in addressing the current problem, can the GCC count on those contries to maintain an enduring regional presence in the future?   Cooperating on regional maritime security issues could also have powerful symbolic value, as it would demonstrate that Gulf countries are capable of addressing mutual security concerns and are not content with outsourcing their security needs.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/20/washington/20military.html

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/20/world/africa/20pirate.html?ref=world

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