[Senate Prints 112-35]
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112th Congress                                                  S. Prt.
 2d Session                 COMMITTEE PRINT                      112-35
_______________________________________________________________________

 
 THE GULF SECURITY ARCHITECTURE: PARTNERSHIP WITH THE GULF COOPERATION 
                                COUNCIL

                               __________

                        A MAJORITY STAFF REPORT

                      PREPARED FOR THE USE OF THE

                     COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                      One Hundred Twelfth Congress

                             Second Session

                             June 19, 2012





     Available via World Wide Web: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/


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                 COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS        

             JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts, Chairman        
BARBARA BOXER, California            RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey          BOB CORKER, Tennessee
BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland         JAMES E. RISCH, Idaho
ROBERT P. CASEY, Jr., Pennsylvania   MARCO RUBIO, Florida
JIM WEBB, Virginia                   JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma
JEANNE SHAHEEN, New Hampshire        JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
CHRISTOPHER A. COONS, Delaware       JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia
RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois          JOHN BARRASSO, Wyoming
TOM UDALL, New Mexico                MIKE LEE, Utah
               William C. Danvers, Staff Director        
        Kenneth A. Myers, Jr., Republican Staff Director        

                              (ii)        




                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
Letter of Transmittal............................................     v
Executive Summary................................................     1
Historical Context...............................................     7
GCC Case Studies.................................................     9
Analysis and Recommendations.....................................    19
Conclusion.......................................................    30

                                 (iii)








                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                              United States Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                    Washingston, DC, June 19, 2012.

    Dear Colleagues: Home to more than half of the world's oil 
reserves and over a third of its natural gas, the stability of 
the Persian Gulf is critical to the global economy. A 
confluence of events in the Middle East--the withdrawal of 
American troops from Iraq, the Arab Revolutions in 2011, and 
the ongoing concerns over Iran's nuclear program--have raised 
questions about the security of the Gulf region, as well as our 
relations with the six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council 
(GCC).
    Last year, I instructed two of my staff members to examine 
the United States evolving security relations with the GCC 
countries, including the challenges and opportunities in 
promoting American interests and supporting regional security 
in the Gulf region. I hope that this report and the 
recommendations contained within will be useful to our 
colleagues in Congress and to the public in considering this 
strategically important region.
            Sincerely,
                                             John F. Kerry,
                                                          Chairman.

                                  (v)




 THE GULF SECURITY ARCHITECTURE: PARTNERSHIP WITH THE GULF COOPERATION 
                                COUNCIL

                              ----------                              


                           Executive Summary

    On 18 December 2011, the last convoy of American soldiers 
left Iraq in accordance with the 2008 bilateral security 
agreement.\1\ With declarations of ``America's Pacific 
Century'' signaling an overdue rebalancing of the United 
States' strategic priorities, the departure of almost 50,000 
U.S. troops raises questions about the security of the Gulf 
region they leave behind.
    Home to more than half of the world's oil reserves and over 
a third of its natural gas,\2\ the stability of the Persian 
Gulf is critical to the global economy. However, the region 
faces a myriad of political and security challenges, from the 
Iranian nuclear program to the threat of terrorism to the 
political crisis in Bahrain.
    In this volatile environment, the Obama administration is 
working to update the security architecture of the Persian Gulf 
to promote regional stability, provide a counterweight to Iran, 
and reassure partners and adversaries alike of American 
resolve. Iran and Iraq have long been the Gulf region's 
preeminent military powers. But the centerpiece of this 
framework is deepening security cooperation, both bilateral and 
multilateral, with the six states of the Gulf Cooperation 
Council (GCC): Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United 
Arab Emirates (UAE), and Oman. Though still in its nascent 
stages, this initiative is in many respects a continuation of 
the Gulf Security Dialogue, which began in 2006 as an effort to 
coordinate common defense initiatives between the United States 
and the GCC but was conducted mostly through bilateral 
channels. On 31 March 2012, the United States and the Gulf 
states participated in the inaugural session of the Strategic 
Cooperation Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, designed to 
formalize multilateral coordination on security and economic 
issues and further broaden strategic ties.
    In an age of austerity, effective policymaking requires a 
careful calibration between means and ends. U.S. leaders should 
balance international security interests with domestic fiscal 
constraints. In the Gulf, a region of acute strategic 
importance to the United States, a security architecture should 
be erected on three pillars: (1) a small but capable U.S. 
military presence; (2) increased burden-sharing as GCC partners 
contribute to their own regional security and stability; and 
(3) steady diplomatic engagement with the GCC to promote 
improved governance, economic diversification, and human 
rights.
    The United States maintains a relatively small but 
effective residual military footprint throughout the Gulf. To 
sustain this presence, the United States relies on access to 
bases such as Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE, Camp Arifjan in 
Kuwait, Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, and Naval Support Activity 
in Bahrain. The Gulf states provide much of the infrastructure 
and transit authority essential to U.S. military missions, 
including NATO operations in Afghanistan. In return, they 
benefit from the American security presence. The Obama 
administration has sought to shape the U.S. force posture in 
the region to be both militarily effective and financially 
sustainable. However, policy makers are likely to face 
difficult decisions about the size of that presence in the 
future.
    To maintain a right-sized American security footprint in 
the Gulf, the United States should continue to promote a degree 
of burden-sharing with GCC states. These partnerships are 
facilitated largely through U.S. security assistance--equipping 
and training foreign security forces through the sale, grant, 
loan, or transfer of defense articles or equipment. From Fiscal 
Year (FY) 2007 to 2010 alone, the six states of the GCC agreed 
to the purchase of more U.S. defense articles and services 
through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program--over $26.7 
billion--than any other region in the world.\3\ This trend is 
expected to continue: in FY 2011, the Obama Administration 
announced that it had agreed to a $29.4 billion sale of fighter 
aircraft to Saudi Arabia, the single largest arms sale in the 
history of the United States.\4\ The United States provides 
security assistance not only to improve partner capacity but 
also to build relationships and interoperability through 
training and sustainment support. Security assistance can help 
promote burden-sharing and advance U.S. objectives in the 
region, but it is not a panacea. It must be carefully 
implemented to encourage regional stability and protect 
Israel's qualitative military edge.
    The promotion of human rights and good governance is also 
important to Americans' self-identity and, thus, an element of 
any effort to develop a security architecture in the Gulf. The 
United States should not be silent on human rights issues but 
rather raise them in a consistent and appropriate manner. 
Governments that address the aspirations and grievances of 
their people are more stable over the long term and 
consequently better security partners for the United States. 
However, the United States Government should be prudent about 
interfering in other nations' domestic matters. Bahrain, in 
particular, presents Washington with a difficult policy 
challenge.
    This report examines how the United States should seek to 
balance these dynamics to promote American interests and 
support regional security, at a time of unprecedented upheaval. 
Two Foreign Relations Committee staff members traveled to the 
six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council as well as Iraq in 
2011 and 2012 to investigate the Persian Gulf security 
framework. Here are the principal policy challenges they have 
identified:

    Challenge 1: Policymakers must strike a balance between 
security interests and the promotion of fundamental freedoms. 
While the United States has significant economic and security 
interests in the Gulf, it should not be seen as opposed to 
popular reform efforts.

          Recommendation: The United States should leverage its 
        strategic position to be a steady force for moderation, 
        stability, and nonsectarianism, through patient and 
        persistent engagement in support of human rights. The 
        United States should not be quick to rescind security 
        assurances or assistance in response to human rights 
        abuses, but should evaluate each case on its own 
        merits. U.S. Government officials should use these 
        tools to advance human rights through careful 
        diplomacy. Consistency is a hallmark of a successful 
        security partnership. Nonetheless, there should be 
        redlines associated with the U.S. security agreements 
        in the Gulf, like elsewhere. The United States should 
        make clear that states must not use arms procured from 
        the United States against their own people engaged in 
        peaceful assembly or exploit the U.S. security umbrella 
        as protection for belligerent action against their 
        neighbors.

    Challenge 2: While the GCC is becoming a more independent 
and effective actor, the United States remains crucial to the 
region's stability. The Gulf monarchies have for centuries 
depended on outside security guarantors, a role played by the 
United States since the British left in 1971. They have emerged 
from this historic dependency, and Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the 
UAE, in particular, are playing more prominent roles on the 
regional and even global stage.

          Recommendation: The United States should seek to 
        remain a central part of the Gulf security framework. 
        The administration should encourage the development of 
        institutions like the GCC and Arab League, while 
        seeking to strengthen bilateral ties. However, the GCC 
        is not a monolith, and a multilateral architecture must 
        accommodate the significant differences among the Gulf 
        states. The United States has a unique diplomatic and 
        security role to play in the GCC. To protect its 
        regional security interests, the United States should 
        seek to reinforce its position as a core interlocutor 
        around which intra-GCC security is organized, through 
        robust diplomatic and economic engagement, military-to-
        military cooperation, and security assistance. However, 
        there is some concern in various GCC capitals that the 
        United States has not been forthcoming enough in 
        communicating its vision of how it would like this 
        cooperation to evolve amidst the political turmoil of 
        the Arab Awakening. American officials should seek to 
        ameliorate these concerns by more clearly articulating 
        to its GCC partners the United States vision for a Gulf 
        security framework, as well as its strategic priorities 
        for the broader region.


    Challenge 3: The Gulf region's tremendous hydrocarbon 
resources and strong macroeconomic growth in recent years mask 
structural human capital and unemployment challenges that could 
cause longer term problems. The use of expatriate labor over 
the last several decades has helped the region to quickly 
develop an advanced infrastructure, but it has led to an 
underdevelopment of the region's local human capital.

          Recommendation: The United States should work with 
        GCC states to promote economic reform and 
        diversification, as well as increased trade relations. 
        The Gulf states have recognized this dilemma and to 
        varying degrees have sought to diversify their 
        economies and better prepare their workforces for the 
        global marketplace. To help the GCC countries tackle 
        their structural unemployment and underemployment, the 
        United States should focus on educational and labor 
        reforms, as well as the promotion of entrepreneurship.

    Challenge 4: The United States must carefully shape its 
military presence so as not to create a popular backlash, while 
retaining the capability to protect the free flow of critical 
natural resources and to provide a counterbalance to Iran. 
Earlier American deployments in Saudi Arabia and Iraq generated 
violent local opposition. What the West views as a deterrent 
against aggression could also be misconstrued or portrayed as 
an occupying presence.

          Recommendation: The United States should preserve the 
        model of ``lily pad'' bases throughout the Gulf, which 
        permits the rapid escalation of military force in case 
        of emergency. The Obama administration has adopted this 
        architecture by retaining only essential personnel in 
        the region while ensuring access to critical hubs such 
        as Camp Arifjan, Al Udeid, Al Dhafra, Jebel Ali, and 
        Naval Support Activity Bahrain. An agile footprint 
        enables the United States to quickly deploy its 
        superior conventional force should conflict arise, 
        without maintaining a costly and unsustainable 
        presence. Sustaining physical infrastructure and 
        enabling functions such as intelligence, surveillance, 
        and logistics, while keeping certain war reserve 
        materiel forward positioned, is more important than 
        deploying large numbers of U.S. forces.

    Challenge 5: Although the UAE and Qatar have demonstrated a 
willingness to operate in the coalition environment, most Gulf 
states are not yet fully capable of independently sustaining 
significant tactical support to the United States in times of 
crisis. U.S. leaders should not expect more from the Gulf 
states than they are capable of or willing to provide. They 
must be careful not to upset a volatile region by introducing, 
through security assistance, overwhelming offensive military 
capabilities that could lead to an arms race.

          Recommendation: The U.S. Government should continue 
        to cultivate the capabilities of GCC partners in select 
        defensive missions, such as missile defense, combat air 
        patrol, and maritime security, while building capacity 
        through deployments in other theaters such as Libya and 
        Afghanistan. Burden-sharing does not imply that the 
        United States is abandoning the region or relinquishing 
        its role as a security guarantor. Rather, it is 
        intended to deepen strategic ties with the Gulf by 
        improving the competencies of the GCC states through 
        joint exercises, security assistance, and training. 
        Over time, these partnerships can improve the 
        effectiveness of Gulf militaries, promote trust, and 
        instill professional military values such as respect 
        for civilian authority, human rights, and the rule-of-
        law. However, the Obama administration should carefully 
        consider what missions it expects the Gulf states to 
        execute effectively.

    Challenge 6: The United States must determine how much 
security assistance to provide to its Gulf partners. The Gulf 
states--in particular, Saudi Arabia and the UAE--are prolific 
buyers of U.S. arms, but they are also willing to buy from 
other international sellers. That does not mean however, the 
United States should grant whatever capabilities to the GCC 
states that they desire.

          Recommendation: The United States should continue to 
        supply Gulf partners with security assistance that 
        supports a comprehensive strategy for regional arms 
        sales to ensure a stable security architecture. The 
        United States derives a number of benefits from 
        supplying the GCC states with defense materiel and 
        training: interoperability, access, leverage, 
        relationships, and regional balance. But the United 
        States should be scrupulous in determining which 
        weapons systems to sell in order to (1) ensure that 
        sales contribute to regional security and do not weaken 
        the position of Israel, (2) support the legitimate 
        defense requirements of Gulf partners, (3) prevent a 
        regional arms race, and (4) protect its technological 
        superiority.\5\

    Challenge 7: Relations between the Gulf monarchies and Iraq 
remain cool. There has been a tendency of some Arab states to 
remain disengaged from Iraq, largely over its relations with 
Iran. Unfortunately, this tendency has had the effect of 
pushing Iraq closer to Iran.

          Recommendation: The United States should promote the 
        gradual political reintegration of Iraq into the Arab 
        fold. Iraq's Arab League presidency in 2012 is an 
        opportunity for the United States to promote a gradual 
        rebalancing of the Gulf's security architecture, 
        improved counterterrorism cooperation between Iraq and 
        the GCC, and a reduction in sectarian tensions. In 
        particular, in light of reciprocal visits by Kuwaiti 
        Emir Sheikh Sabah and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-
        Maliki, there may be opportunities for progress on the 
        outstanding bilateral issues dating to the 1990 Iraqi 
        invasion of Kuwait, including border demarcation, war 
        reparations, and the disposition of missing Kuwaiti 
        citizens.


MAP: The Gulf Cooperation Council




Source: The Perry-Castaeda Library Map Collection, The 
University of Texas at Austin, http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/





Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency 2010 Report on 
Foreign Military Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and 
Other Security Cooperation Historical Facts


*With the exception of the ``GCC'' grouping, which is drawn out 
of the ``Middle East and North Africa,'' the regional 
categories are equivalent to those used by the U.S. State 
Department.











Source: 2010-2011 Report on Foreign Military Training and 
Department of Defense Engagement Activities of Interest

                           Historical Context

    The sheikhdoms of the Arabian Peninsula date back hundreds 
of years, but with the notable exception of Oman, they only 
emerged as modern states in the 20th century. Lacking permanent 
borders and formal bureaucracies, the tribes relied upon 
outside protectors for the provision of security, including the 
Ottomans, the Portuguese, and for roughly 150 years, the 
British.
    The British sought to protect trade routes between India 
and the United Kingdom, to expand their regional hegemony, and 
to project force against their ``Great Game'' rivals, the 
Russian and Ottoman empires. But the local sheikhdoms sought 
protection as well, as the British took on defense 
responsibilities through a series of treaties with all of the 
present-day GCC states, except Saudi Arabia.
    Collectively, these treaties--with Oman in 1829, the 
Trucial States (now the UAE) in 1835, Bahrain in 1861, Kuwait 
in 1899, and Qatar in 1916--became known as the Maritime Truce. 
During this period, the local sheikhs generally benefited from 
increased trade and stability, and when the British left in 
1971, it was to ease the financial burden of maintaining a 
presence in the Gulf, rather than at the insistence of the 
rulers.\6\
    The U.S. presence in the Gulf is commonly dated to December 
1879, when the USS Ticonderoga, a steam-powered veteran of the 
Civil War, transited the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian 
Gulf. Commercial quantities of oil were discovered in Bahrain 
in 1932 and Standard Oil arrived in the Gulf in 1933, beginning 
the dramatic regional transformation from desert shipping hub 
to global energy provider. In 1948, the United States 
established the Middle East Force--a small presence in Bahrain 
on a British naval base--to protect ships along the coast of 
Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The force, although much evolved, 
remains to the present.\7\
    The Gulf's importance to U.S. strategic interests became 
apparent with the articulation of the Nixon Doctrine in 1969 
and the Carter Doctrine in 1980. The Nixon Doctrine called on 
U.S. allies to contribute to their own security with the aid of 
American security assistance. The ``Twin Pillars'' policy was a 
natural outgrowth of the Nixon administration's efforts to 
protect American power. Under this policy, the United States 
relied on Saudi Arabia and Iran to provide for much of the 
region's security and serve as bulwarks against Soviet 
expansion. At his 1980 State of the Union address, in reaction 
to the 1979 Iranian revolution, President Carter articulated 
his own doctrine: ``An attempt by any outside force to gain 
control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an 
assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, 
and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, 
including military force.'' \8\ Together, these two doctrines 
provided a strategic framework for the growing arms sales to 
the region in the 1970s and the expansion of the U.S. military 
presence in the 1990s.
    Prior to 1990, the Gulf states preferred an ``over the 
horizon'' American presence. That changed with the Iraqi 
invasion of Kuwait. Even though the six Gulf monarchies signed 
a mutual defense pact in 1990, they played a minor role in 
Operation Desert Storm to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi aggression 
in 1991. Afterward, the United States signed Defense 
Cooperation Agreements with Bahrain in 1991 (the Fifth Fleet 
was reactivated in 1995), Qatar in 1992 (U.S. Central Command 
headquarters was established in 2002), and the UAE in 1994. 
Additionally, all six GCC states negotiated or re-negotiated 
access agreements for U.S. forces during this period.\9\
    Although most of the Gulf states historically relied on 
outside security guarantors through bilateral relationships, 
they have in recent decades also sought closer regional 
coordination. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was formed in 
1981, galvanized by regional events such as the Soviet invasion 
of Afghanistan, the Iranian revolution, and the Iran-Iraq 
``Tanker War.'' But the Gulf states were careful not to offend 
their more powerful neighbors, Iran and Iraq. In fact, the GCC 
Charter, still in effect today, focused entirely on nonsecurity 
issues. In 1984, the Peninsula Shield Force was created, but it 
was a virtual coalition with no real integration.
    Before the 1991 Persian Gulf War, there had been a tendency 
for successive administrations to seek a relative power balance 
between Iran and Iraq. However, in 1993 the Clinton 
administration concluded that both Iran and Iraq were hostile 
to American interests in the Gulf and announced a policy of 
``dual containment.'' As a senior White House official 
described it at the time, ``as long as we are able to maintain 
our military presence in the region, as long as we succeed in 
restricting the military ambitions of both Iraq and Iran, and 
as long as we can rely on our regional allies Egypt, Israel, 
Saudi Arabia and the GCC, and Turkey to preserve a balance of 
power in our favor in the wider Middle East region, we will 
have the means to counter both the Iraqi and Iranian regimes.'' 
\10\
    After the 2003 Iraq War, the United States effectively 
dismantled the Iraqi military. In 2006, the Bush administration 
began the Gulf Security Dialogue to coordinate common defense 
initiatives between the United States and the GCC and to 
promote more robust cooperation among the GCC states 
themselves. Today, Iraq remains politically volatile, while 
Iran has become politically isolated. At the same time, the GCC 
states are emerging from their historic security dependency. In 
particular, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates 
are playing larger roles on the regional and even global stage, 
taking leadership roles in regional crises such as Libya, 
Syria, and Yemen. Their relationships with the United States 
are maturing even as they expand their economic ties with Asia.
    This evolution takes place against the backdrop of a region 
in the midst of historic change. Bahrain faced a large-scale 
popular uprising in 2011 that continues, and protest movements 
have occurred in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. The UAE and 
Qatar are the only Arab countries that have not faced 
significant displays of public unrest since 2011. It does not 
seem a stretch to posit, however, that the Arab Awakening will 
have profound and lasting implications for the entire Arab 
world, including to varying degrees on all six Gulf monarchies.
    The GCC remains a fundamentally asymmetric organization, 
with Saudi Arabia accounting for roughly half of the gross 
domestic product of the Arabian Peninsula, two-thirds its 
population, and four-fifths its landmass. Despite recent 
discussions among GCC members about the possibility of 
transitioning to a Gulf union,\11\ this asymmetry creates a 
structural constraint on the willingness of some of the smaller 
states to engage in further regional integration. Perhaps not 
accidentally, it is the smaller Gulf states--Qatar, Kuwait, the 
UAE, and Bahrain--that have a relatively larger U.S. military 
presence, particularly after the post-9/11 withdrawal of U.S. 
forces from Saudi Arabia.


                            gcc case studies


    As the Obama administration seeks to promote a regional 
security architecture in the Gulf, it faces a number of 
challenges. The GCC is becoming a more energetic actor on the 
regional stage, but at times, its states lag in the 
implementation of governance and human rights reforms. U.S. 
policymakers should continue to engage Gulf partners on these 
issues. A residual American military presence in the Gulf and 
increased burden-sharing with GCC states are fundamental 
components of such a framework. However, the United States must 
also carefully shape its military footprint to protect the 
free-flow of critical natural resources and promote regional 
stability while not creating a popular backlash. Through 
security assistance, the U.S. Government should provide its GCC 
partners with defense capabilities required to promote 
interoperability, but it must be careful not to destabilize the 
Gulf's security balance by provoking an arms race. The 
following case studies examine the individual Gulf states to 
further explore these dynamics.
Saudi Arabia
    Saudi Arabia is the dominant power in the Arabian 
Peninsula--culturally, geographically, demographically, and 
economically. Home to Islam's two holiest sites in Mecca and 
Medina, the Kingdom exercises a unique influence throughout the 
Muslim world. Saudi Arabia's estimated proven reserves of oil 
are almost 265 billion barrels, nearly 20 percent of the 
world's total,\12\ and, as the only country with significant 
spare production capacity, Saudi Arabia has also been referred 
to as the ``central banker of oil.'' \13\
    Saudi Arabia has no political parties, trade unions or an 
elected parliament, and almost no civil society. The United 
States has concerns about the status of women, the lack of 
religious freedoms, and human rights restrictions. Since 
September 11, U.S. officials have also expressed concern about 
Saudi support for religious groups outside the Kingdom which 
support intolerance. However, the socioeconomic transformation 
of the country in the 20th century was astounding considering 
that King Abdullah's father King Abdul-Aziz, who founded Saudi 
Arabia in 1932, reportedly carried the Kingdom's entire 
treasury in camel saddlebags.\14\
    According to some observers in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom 
may have reached a demographic inflection point.\15\ Sixty 
percent of the Saudi population is younger than 21 and for 
several years a majority of the Kingdom's college graduates 
have been women. Meanwhile, the Kingdom will likely face a 
generational shift in leadership in the years ahead that could 
have profound effects on the politics of the Arabian Peninsula.
    The U.S.--Saudi relationship is symbolically dated to the 
landmark meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and King 
Abdul-Aziz on February 14, 1945 aboard the U.S.S. Quincy in the 
Suez Canal. However, like any long relationship, it has endured 
its ups and downs. The spring of 2011 was a period of relative 
strain, with the Saudis and Americans clearly pursuing 
differing policies in Egypt and Bahrain. This divergence 
however, was not nearly as severe as the 1973 Oil Embargo or 
the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. By most accounts, 
the relationship is back on more solid footing, though Saudi 
Arabia is keen to continue diversifying its relationships by 
expanding its ties with China and other East Asian economic 
powers.\16\



   U.S. Military Presence: Although the United States 
        maintained a troop presence in Saudi Arabia prior to 
        the Gulf War, the deployment reached its zenith in 
        1991, with over 550,000 coalition forces mobilized in 
        support of operations in Iraq.\17\ From 1992-2003, U.S. 
        forces continued to maintain a residual footprint in 
        Saudi Arabia, but in August 1996, Osama bin Laden 
        declared war against the United States in the Kingdom. 
        Subsequently, U.S. forces were victims of significant 
        terrorist attacks.\18\ Sensitive to perceptions of an 
        overt American military presence in ``the Land of the 
        Two Holy Mosques,'' U.S. personnel and combat equipment 
        were withdrawn from Saudi soil by the end of 2003.\19\ 
        Now security cooperation is facilitated by a relatively 
        small contingent of U.S. military officers and 
        contractors who work with the Saudi Ministry of 
        Defense, Ministry of Interior, and the Saudi Arabian 
        National Guard.


   Saudi Military: The Saudi military is by far the 
        largest within the GCC, numbering approximately 233,500 
        active-duty troops.\20\ The Saudi Arabian National 
        Guard is a separate military force and a pillar of the 
        regime, recruited predominantly from tribes loyal to 
        the royal family and numbering over 100,000 
        members.\21\ Since the fall of Saddam, the Saudi 
        military is the Gulf region's geo-political 
        counterweight to Iran, though the Kingdom has not 
        historically sought to project military force outside 
        the Arabian Peninsula. Despite employing some of the 
        most advanced equipment in the region--Patriot missile 
        defense batteries, Typhoon and F-15 fighter aircraft, 
        airborne refueling capability, M1-A2 Abrams tanks, and 
        AH-64 attack helicopters--the Saudi military continues 
        to face challenges developing proficiency in defense 
        planning and sustainment.


   U.S. Security Assistance and Training: Despite the 
        sometimes-strained relationship, Saudi Arabia remains a 
        major recipient of U.S. security assistance. In fiscal 
        year 2010, Saudi Arabia agreed to over $2 billion in 
        U.S. Foreign Military Sales and $409 million in Foreign 
        Military Construction Agreements.\22\ From 2007 to 
        2010, Saudi Arabia agreed to purchase $13.8 billion in 
        U.S. defense articles and services--more than any other 
        nation in the world.\23\ These acquisitions included 
        some of the most technologically advanced weapon 
        systems available for export. In 2010, the Obama 
        administration announced the potential sales of UH-60 
        Blackhawk and AH-64 Apache helicopters.\24\ In December 
        2011, the administration announced that it had agreed 
        to a foreign military sale with Saudi Arabia consisting 
        of 84 F-15SA fighter aircraft, upgrades to its existing 
        fleet of 70 F-15s, and a significant air-to-air and 
        air-to-ground ordnance package.\25\ The sale, worth $29 
        billion, is the largest to a single recipient in the 
        history of the United States. Although Congress did not 
        block the sale, 198 Members wrote the administration in 
        November 2010 to express concern over how the transfer 
        of such sophisticated arms would impact the regional 
        security balance.\26\


      In fiscal year 2010, 1,571 Saudi students were trained at 
        a value of $69.5 million in such competencies as 
        maintenance, English language, communications, 
        logistics, financial management, and intelligence 
        through U.S. security cooperation programs.\27\ Ninety-
        four percent of the students were trained through the 
        Foreign Military Sales programs. In past years, the 
        Saudi Air Force has also participated in joint training 
        such as Red Flag--a massive air combat exercise--at 
        Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.\28\ Saudi Arabia has 
        at times received a nominal amount of International 
        Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance, 
        typically $10,000 or less, so that it can qualify for 
        reduced pricing on U.S. training associated with 
        Foreign Military Sales.\29\


      A May 2008 U.S.-Saudi technical cooperation agreement 
        laid the groundwork for collaboration on critical 
        infrastructure protection and border and maritime 
        security. The agreement facilitated the Saudi's 
        purchase of U.S. technical support through government 
        contractors or U.S. private entities. The U.S. Central 
        Command has also reportedly worked with Saudi Special 
        Forces to improve their ability to protect oil 
        infrastructure and future energy sites.\30\
Kuwait
    Kuwait's political culture has its roots in the diwaniya--
traditional salons hosted by prominent members of society that 
remain important venues for discussing and debating social and 
political issues. Even prior to the Arab Awakening, Kuwait's 
National Assembly was among the more dynamic parliaments in the 
Arab world. In 2006, after the death of the long-ruling Emir 
Jaber al-Sabah, it effectively forced the incoming emir, who 
was seriously ill, to abdicate; in November 2011, Prime 
Minister Nasser al-Sabah resigned amid strong parliamentary 
pressure. While public protests also contributed to the Prime 
Minister's resignation, they centered on demands for 
transparency and reform rather than a replacement of the 
political order.\31\
    Kuwait's geography renders it susceptible to external 
influence: it shares a long border with Iraq, and Kuwait City 
is only about 50 miles from Iran. Unlike other Arab Gulf 
states, Kuwait has traditionally perceived Iraq as its biggest 
security threat. Most Kuwaitis old enough to remember the 
August 1990 Iraqi invasion know someone who was killed, 
imprisoned, or injured. But in recent years, there has been a 
dramatic shift in Kuwait's threat perception; in line with the 
thinking in other Gulf states, concerns about Iran now 
predominate.\32\
    Kuwait takes a more restrained approach to regional affairs 
than some of its neighbors and generally aligns its foreign 
policy with that of Saudi Arabia. Its purchases of U.S. arms 
are significant, though modest in comparison to Saudi Arabia 
and the United Arab Emirates. Kuwait is especially keen to 
maintain a significant U.S. military presence. In fact, the 
Kuwaiti public perception of the United States is more positive 
than any other Gulf country, dating back to the U.S.-led 
liberation of Kuwait in 1991. Kuwait paid over $16 billion to 
compensate coalition efforts for costs incurred during Desert 
Shield and Desert Storm and $350 million for Operation Southern 
Watch.\33\ In 2004, the Bush Administration designated Kuwait a 
major non-NATO ally.



   U.S. Military Presence: A U.S.-Kuwaiti defense 
        agreement signed in 1991 and extended in 2001 provides 
        a framework that guards the legal rights of American 
        troops and promotes military cooperation. When U.S. 
        troops departed Iraq at the end of 2011, Kuwait 
        welcomed a more enduring American footprint. Currently, 
        there are approximately 15,000 U.S. forces in Kuwait, 
        but the number is likely to decrease to 13,500. Kuwaiti 
        bases such as Camp Arifjan, Ali Al Salem Air Field, and 
        Camp Buehring offer the United States major staging 
        hubs, training ranges, and logistical support for 
        regional operations. U.S. forces also operate Patriot 
        missile batteries in Kuwait, which are vital to theater 
        missile defense.\34\


   Kuwaiti Military: The Kuwaiti military has made 
        strides toward modernizing its force, and it is much 
        improved in the area of missile defense, regularly 
        competing against U.S.-manned Patriot batteries in 
        training simulations. However, the small combined Army, 
        Navy, and Air Force--close to 15,500 active duty troops 
        \35\--still relies on U.S. assistance in sustainment, 
        logistics, maintenance, and intelligence fusion. To 
        improve its capabilities, the Kuwaiti military is a 
        willing recipient of U.S. training. In the words of one 
        U.S. military officer, ``Their appetite for partnership 
        exceeds our ability to provide it.'' \36\ Kuwait has 
        also increasingly demonstrated a willingness to 
        participate in international coalitions. In 2012, ahead 
        of their regularly scheduled rotation, Kuwait assumed 
        the lead of Combined Task Force-152, a 25-nation 
        coalition dedicated to maritime security operations in 
        the Persian Gulf.\37\


   U.S. Security Assistance and Training: Kuwait has 
        procured major weapon systems from the United States 
        including M1A2 tanks, Patriot air-defense missile 
        systems, and F/A-18 fighter aircraft. In fiscal year 
        2010, Kuwait agreed to purchase $1.6 billion of defense 
        articles and services through the Foreign Military 
        Sales program.\38\


      Kuwait is not a recipient of U.S. grant assistance such 
        as International Military Education and Training 
        (IMET). However, through the Foreign Military Sales 
        program in fiscal year 2010, 216 Kuwaiti military 
        students were educated in proficiencies from 
        intelligence to pilot training at a value of $9.7 
        million.\39\ Moreover, the Kuwaiti Government often 
        uses its national funds to send officials to attend 
        professional military schools and short-term training 
        courses in the United States.\40\
Bahrain
    Bahrain presents Washington with a difficult policy 
challenge. The Kingdom remains an important strategic partner--
one of two Gulf countries designated as a major non-NATO ally. 
During the 13-year reign of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, 
Bahrain had undertaken some reform and managed to build a 
reputation as a regional trading and banking hub, attracting 
foreign companies, Gulf tourists, and an annual Formula One 
Grand Prix (which was cancelled in 2011). Yet, the unrest that 
began in 2011 shows few signs of abating.
    Protests broke out in Bahrain on 14 February 2011, inspired 
by popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. The protests began 
peacefully, but over time the situation deteriorated. On March 
14, the six GCC nations unanimously agreed to deploy Peninsula 
Shield forces to Bahrain, and a state of emergency was 
declared. GCC forces remained garrisoned, but in the ensuing 
crackdown there were widespread reports of excessive violence 
against unarmed protestors.\41\
    In his 19 May 2011 speech on the Middle East, President 
Obama was critical of the crackdown, noting ``you can't have a 
real dialogue when parts of the peaceful opposition are in 
jail.'' Meanwhile, in September 2011, Congress was notified of 
the Obama administration's intent to sell armored vehicles and 
optically-tracked wire-guided missiles to Bahrain for an 
estimated cost of $53 million dollars.\42\ The announcement 
elicited significant opposition from activists and human rights 
groups in Washington and resolutions condemning the sale were 
introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives. The 
U.S. State Department put a temporary hold on the vehicle and 
missile transfer and paused security assistance in general to 
Bahrain.\43\ The Obama administration then determined it would 
proceed with the transfer of certain ``equipment needed for 
Bahrain's external defense and support of Fifth Fleet 
operations.'' \44\
    Amid a growing international outcry, King Hamad appointed 
the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), comprised 
of prominent international experts and led by renowned 
Egyptian-American jurist M. Cherif Bassiouni. On 23 November 
2011 the Commission released a 500-page report, examining in 
detail the events of February and March 2011. While the report 
found that the protesters shared some responsibility for the 
unrest, including targeting the Sunni community, security 
forces, and South Asian guest workers, the BICI report sharply 
criticized the government for subjecting detainees to ``torture 
and other forms of physical and psychological abuse'' and for a 
``culture of impunity'' within Bahrain's security forces. It 
also could not establish ``a discernible link'' between the 
events of February and March 2011 and Iran.\45\
    Human rights groups and political analysts remain concerned 
about Bahrain's trajectory. According to a 16 April 2012 press 
release from International Crisis Group, ``A genuine dialogue 
between the regime and the opposition and a decision to fully 
carry out the [BICI report]--not half-hearted measures and not 
a policy of denial--are needed to halt this deterioration.'' 
\46\ The United States should continue to encourage efforts to 
start such a dialogue and to promote moderate figures within 
the ruling family, including Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-
Khalifa, as well as within the political opposition.



   U.S. Military Presence: The United States security 
        relationship with Bahrain dates back to 1948, with the 
        establishment of the Middle East Force, a precursor to 
        today's Fifth Fleet. The U.S. Navy leased part of the 
        former British base in 1971, when Bahrain achieved 
        formal independence. During the Persian Gulf War, 
        Bahrain was home to 17,500 U.S. troops and 250 
        aircraft.\47\ Bahrain signed a defense agreement with 
        the United States in 1991, which still provides U.S. 
        forces extensive access to military facilities, 
        permission to store munitions, and establishes the 
        groundwork for joint military training and exercises. 
        By 1995, the U.S. Fifth Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces 
        Central Command, operating from their headquarters in 
        Bahrain, were managing the Navy's rotationally deployed 
        assets to the Gulf.


      Naval facilities in Bahrain, renamed Naval Support 
        Activity, now span 60 acres and house roughly 6,000 
        military personnel and civilian employees.\48\ The 
        Kingdom's ports regularly host U.S. carrier and 
        amphibious battle groups and are the enduring home to 
        U.S. Navy assets such as minesweepers and costal patrol 
        boats. The United States has made a significant 
        investment in military facilities, commencing a 5-year 
        $580 million U.S.-funded construction project in 
        2010.\49\ Additionally, Bahrain is the base of 
        international coalitions Combined Task Forces 151 and 
        152--partnerships dedicated to counter-piracy and 
        maritime security cooperation.


   Bahraini Military: Bahrain retains the smallest 
        military force in the GCC at approximately 8,200 active 
        duty troops,\50\ many of whom are apparently 
        noncitizens from South Asia. The Bahraini force employs 
        a small fleet of American-made F-5s and F-16s; an 
        American-made frigate; a number of coastal patrol 
        vessels and amphibious landing craft; and transport and 
        attack helicopters. Twice, in 2008 and 2010, the 
        Bahraini military assumed command of Combined Task 
        Force-152, and in 2009, they deployed 100 police 
        officers on a 2-year rotation to Afghanistan--the only 
        other GCC country besides the UAE to make such a 
        commitment.\51\ Bahrain has also deployed its frigate 
        in support of U.S. operations in the Gulf. However, the 
        Kingdom remains dependent on the United States and its 
        GCC allies for external security. Bahraini forces 
        leverage U.S. expertise during joint exercises such as 
        Neon Response, a November 2011 bilateral engagement 
        that facilitated explosive ordnance and disposal 
        training.\52\


   U.S. Security Assistance and Training: The largest 
        beneficiary of U.S. grant security assistance among the 
        GCC States, Bahrain is slated to receive approximately 
        $500,000 in Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining, 
        and Related assistance (NADR); $700,000 in 
        International Military Education and Training (IMET); 
        and $10 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) in 
        fiscal year 2012.\53\ Bahrain agreed to purchase close 
        to $91 million in U.S. defense equipment and training 
        through Foreign Military Sales in fiscal year 2010,\54\ 
        and in fiscal year 2011, it was granted U.S. Excess 
        Defense Articles (EDA) worth more than $55 million.\55\


      Training has also been a significant component of U.S. 
        security assistance to Bahrain. In fiscal year 2010, 
        253 students were trained in competencies such as 
        maritime security, leadership, maintenance, and 
        counterterrorism at a value of $2.8 million.\56\
Qatar
    Qatar is the world's wealthiest state on a per-capita 
basis, with only about 250,000 citizens and the third-largest 
natural gas reserves. It has successfully translated this 
extraordinary wealth into outsized regional, and even global, 
political influence.
    Home to al-Jazeera, Qatar presided over the United Nations 
General Assembly in 2011, and was recently awarded the 2022 
FIFA World Cup. It applauded the resignation of Egyptian 
President Hosni Mubarak, played a critical role in supporting 
the Libyan Transitional National Council, and has been at the 
vanguard of Arab efforts to isolate Syria--despite previously 
enjoying warm bilateral relations. It has also played an 
important regional mediation role in places as varied as Sudan, 
Yemen, Lebanon, Eritrea, and Palestine.
    Qatar shares with Iran the North Field/South Pars 
reservoir, the largest gas field in the world. As a result, 
Qatar seeks to minimize tensions with its northern neighbor. 
However, the two countries have been notably at odds over 
Syria, which could raise bilateral tensions over time.



   U.S. Military Presence: In the aftermath of the 
        liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Qatar granted U.S. forces 
        substantial access to its military facilities.\57\ The 
        following year, the two countries solidified their 
        defense relationship by signing a cooperation 
        agreement. Qatar invested $1 billion in the 1990s to 
        expand Al Udeid Air Base. Now, with its 15,000-foot 
        runway and considerable store of war reserve material, 
        it is a critical logistical hub for regional 
        operations. Although Qatar subsidizes much of the 
        American presence, the United States has also invested 
        in Qatar's security infrastructure. From 2003 to 2010, 
        Congress authorized over $394 million for military 
        construction projects.\58\ Home to approximately 7,500 
        American troops,\59\ Qatar is the forward deployed base 
        of the U.S. Central Command and the Combined Air and 
        Space Operations Center (CAOC). At the CAOC, U.S. 
        military officials manage airspace authority, air 
        defense, electronic warfare, and personnel recovery in 
        20 regional countries, including Afghanistan.


   Qatari Military: Qatar maintains a small but 
        professional military force. With 11,800 active duty 
        troops, it retains the second smallest active duty 
        military in the GCC.\60\ Qatar lacks an integrated air 
        defense system, and with a small fleet of coastal 
        combatants and fighter aircraft it relies on American 
        capabilities for its self-defense. Although its 
        officers are well regarded, a military career is not 
        highly sought after by Qatari youth. In an attempt to 
        make military service more attractive, the officer 
        corps recently received a pay increase of 120 
        percent.\61\


      Qatar has demonstrated a willingness to operate in the 
        coalition environment. After natural disasters in Haiti 
        and Pakistan, Qatar was among the first to deploy 
        humanitarian supplies aboard its American-made C-17s. 
        In addition to supplying $400 million to arm and train 
        the Libyan resistance, Qatar provided Special Forces to 
        lead the rebels in their August 2011 assault on 
        Tripoli.\62\ Although Qatari fighter jets played a 
        nominal part in air operations over Libya, one U.S. 
        military official described Qatar's overall political 
        and military contribution to the Libya effort as 
        ``nothing short of decisive.'' \63\


   U.S. Security Assistance and Training: Qatar has 
        traditionally relied on the French for its military 
        equipment,\64\ but as the relationship with the United 
        States develops, it is increasingly willing to procure 
        American-made weapons including fighter aircraft and 
        missile defense systems. In fiscal year 2010, Qatar 
        agreed to purchase $16.8 million in U.S. defense goods 
        through the Foreign Military Sales program.\65\ 
        Sensitive to what they perceive as costly 
        administration fees, Qatar has been more inclined to 
        acquire military equipment through the Direct 
        Commercial Sales program although, with improved 
        bilateral government-to-government relations, there are 
        indications that this trend may be changing.\66\


      In fiscal year 2010, Qatar educated 205 students through 
        U.S. military training programs, 35 percent of whom 
        participated in programs through Foreign Military Sales 
        at a value of $5.8 million.\67\ Qatar also spent a 
        significant amount of its national funds to provide 
        U.S. training for students in skills from operational 
        planning to leadership.\68\
The United Arab Emirates
    The United Arab Emirates is a unique federal state, 
comprised of seven emirates ruled by hereditary royal families. 
Known as the Trucial States before the UAE became fully 
independent in 1971, the federation slowly emerged through a 
series of treaties signed between individual sheikhdoms and the 
United Kingdom during the 150 year British protectorate 
period.\69\ Abu Dhabi, the capital, is the country's center of 
political, economic, and cultural gravity. Dubai is an open, 
cosmopolitan city that has emerged in recent decades as a 
global business and tourism hub, though it was hard hit by the 
global financial downturn.
    On 12 April 2012, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 
visited the island of Abu Musa, one of three Gulf islands 
subject to a longtime territorial dispute between Iran and the 
UAE. In response to this provocative act, the UAE condemned the 
visit in the ``strongest possible terms'' and recalled its 
ambassador to Tehran.\70\
    The UAE has not faced significant public pressure since the 
Arab revolutions began in 2011, but a number of bloggers and 
activists have faced criminal charges.\71\ In March 2012, the 
National Democratic Institute closed its offices in Dubai after 
its license was revoked, and Gallup and the Konrad Adenauer 
Stiftung, a German organization affiliated with Chancellor 
Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Party, announced the 
closure of their Abu Dhabi offices.



   U.S. Military Presence: The UAE first turned to the 
        United States as a guarantor of security during the 
        1991 Persian Gulf War with Iraq. In 1994, the UAE 
        signed a bilateral defense pact with the United States 
        that outlined a status of forces agreement and laid the 
        groundwork for increased defense cooperation.\72\ The 
        relationship has since flourished, with the UAE's 
        installations now home to a sizable U.S. footprint of 
        almost 3,000 troops.\73\ The Emirates directly support 
        much of the American presence by subsidizing facilities 
        expansion and upgrades. More U.S. Navy ships visit the 
        port at Jebel Ali than any other port outside the 
        United States, and Al Dhafra Air Base retains U.S. 
        fighter, attack, and reconnaissance aircraft. Like a 
        number of other GCC States, the UAE also hosts U.S. 
        Patriot missile batteries.\74\


   Emirati Military: With approximately 51,000 active 
        duty troops,\75\ the UAE's military capabilities are 
        second to none in the region.\76\ U.S. military 
        officials assert that operators of the UAE Hawk 
        surface-to-air missile system are ``on par with their 
        U.S. counterparts'', and that UAE fighter pilots are 
        ``combat ready.'' \77\ The UAE, which has NATO observer 
        status, dedicated two squadrons of fighter aircraft to 
        operations in Libya. In addition to the important 
        statement made by the commitment, the UAE pilots proved 
        to be capable tacticians and contributed to coalition 
        air-to-ground strike operations. The UAE also retains a 
        250-troop contingent in Afghanistan dedicated to 
        security, humanitarian aid, and development.\78\ 
        Despite a number of recent setbacks and a strained 
        U.S.-Afghanistan relationship, the UAE is poised to 
        assume additional responsibilities in support of 
        coalition efforts.


   U.S. Security Assistance and Training: The UAE is a 
        major recipient of U.S. defense equipment, having 
        purchased in recent years F-16 fighter jets, Apache 
        attack helicopters, Patriot and Terminal High Altitude 
        Area Defense (THAAD) missile systems, and a bevy of 
        advanced munitions.\79\ From 2007 to 2010, the UAE 
        agreed to acquire more U.S. defense articles and 
        services through the Foreign Military Sales program--
        $10.4 billion--than any other country in the world with 
        the exception of Saudi Arabia.\80\


      The purchase of U.S. weapons systems also contributes to 
        the training of Emirati military students. In fiscal 
        year 2010, 359 students were trained at a cost of $19.3 
        million through U.S. security cooperation programs--96 
        percent of whom received their training as part of the 
        Foreign Military Sales program.\81\


      At the Air Warfare Center in Al Dhafra, the UAE and U.S. 
        forces conduct extensive training exercises focused on 
        command and control, early warning, air and missile 
        defense, intelligence, and logistics. Biannually, the 
        UAE hosts an advanced aviation seminar in offensive and 
        defensive tactics, which includes two weeks of 
        academics and four weeks of flying.\82\ There are 7 
        participating nations, 42 fighter aircraft platforms, 
        and 3 helicopter types, facilitated by U.S. and French 
        refueling, command, communications, and control assets. 
        Graduates of the course include Qatari, Emirati, and 
        Jordanian pilots.


      The UAE is also host to the Integrated Air Missile 
        Defense Center, the region's premier training facility 
        of its kind. It not only facilitates U.S.-UAE 
        interoperability but also U.S.-GCC coalition building. 
        The United States and the GCC train in advanced tactics 
        against ballistic missile, cruise missile, and airborne 
        threats.\83\ In October 2011, for the first time, the 
        GCC states participated in Falcon Shield, an integrated 
        missile defense exercise with the United States.


      The UAE has also hosted the Eagle Resolve multilateral 
        exercise, which utilizes state of the art laboratory 
        facilities to train participants in chemical, 
        biological, and radiological defense and border 
        security. The head of Central Command, General James 
        Mattis said, ``Eagle Resolve will allow us to operate 
        together as a team--it brings the U.S. forces an 
        opportunity to learn from our Gulf partners and they 
        from us in this regard, practicing how we will protect 
        the region's populations if threatened.'' \84\
Oman
    With a rich history little known in the United States, a 
strategic location whose territorial waters contain the major 
navigable shipping lanes of the Strait of Hormuz, and a 
population that is neither predominantly Sunni nor Shiite, the 
Sultanate of Oman has carved out a unique position within the 
GCC.\85\ Sultan Qaboos bin Said is popular with the Omani 
people and enjoys a reputation in the region as a strategic 
thinker. During his 40-year reign, though a period which also 
coincides with its relatively modest oil discoveries, Oman has 
made noteworthy social and economic strides. It has quadrupled 
literacy rates and increased life expectancy by some 27 years. 
Oman was rated by the United Nations Development Programme 
(UNDP) as having enjoyed the greatest improvement in its Human 
Development Index score of any country in the world between 
1970 and 2010.\86\
    Oman generally seeks accommodation with its neighbors, 
though it occasionally breaks with the Arab consensus. For 
example, unlike most Arab League members, Oman maintained 
relations with Egypt after the 1979 Peace Treaty with Israel. 
Oman is one of the few states that enjoys close relations with 
both Iran and the United States, demonstrated by the 
Sultanate's role in securing the release of the three American 
hikers who were imprisoned in Iran.\87\



   U.S. Military Presence: Oman formalized defense ties 
        with the United States--the first Gulf country to do 
        so--after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. It was from the 
        Omani air base on Masirah Island in 1980, that the 
        Carter administration staged a failed attempt to rescue 
        American hostages held in Iran. During the 1980's Iran-
        Iraq War, U.S. forces used Omani installations as a 
        base for maritime patrol and tanker support. In the 
        early stages of Operation Enduring Freedom in 
        Afghanistan, over 4,000 American troops and critical 
        equipment, including a B-1 bomber aircraft, were 
        positioned in Oman. A 2010 security agreement permits 
        the United States to retain a small military footprint 
        and grants U.S. forces access, on a prearranged basis, 
        to military facilities in Masirah, Muscat, and 
        Thumrait.\88\


   Omani Military: Numbering approximately 43,000, the 
        Omani military is the third-largest among GCC 
        states.\89\ With historical ties to the British, much 
        of the Omani military inventory comes from the United 
        Kingdom. However, Oman's forces are increasingly 
        looking for American equipment and training. For 
        example, in 2012, U.S. Army forces teamed with the 
        Royal Army of Oman during a 2-week training exercise--
        Inferno Creek--that focused on infantry tactics at the 
        squadron and platoon level.\90\


   U.S. Security Assistance and Training: Oman, unlike 
        most of its Gulf partners, is a recipient of U.S. grant 
        security assistance, albeit at modest levels. In fiscal 
        year 2012, the U.S. committed approximately $1.5 
        million in Non-Proliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining, 
        and Related (NADR) funds, $1.65 million in 
        International Military Education and Training (IMET) 
        assistance, and approximately $8 million in Foreign 
        Military Financing (FMF) to Oman.\91\


      Compared to its GCC counterparts, Oman has historically 
        procured fewer U.S. weapons systems. In fiscal year 
        2010, Oman agreed to purchase $13.9 million in defense 
        articles and services through the Foreign Military 
        Sales program.\92\ However, a number of larger 
        potential transfers were notified to Congress in 2010 
        and 2011 with a more significant price tag and a more 
        robust support and training package. These agreements 
        include missile components of a ground-based integrated 
        air defense system totaling $1.2 billion and new 
        acquisitions of F-16 fighter aircraft for as much as 
        $3.5 billion.\93\


      The Sultanate's forces are regular participants in U.S. 
        training evolutions. The Royal Air Force of Oman hosts 
        exercises with the U.S. Navy and Air Force, and there 
        is a possibility the Omanis will participate in 
        advanced airborne combat exercises held in the United 
        States. In fiscal year 2010, 291 Omani military 
        students were trained through U.S. security cooperation 
        programs in intelligence, leadership, logistics, 
        procurement, maritime security, and counter-terrorism 
        at a value of $2.8 million.\94\

                      Analysis and Recommendations

    The U.S. Government cannot rely on a single policy 
prescription to promote regional stability in the Gulf region. 
Instead, it will have to assess complicated intra-GCC dynamics 
to formulate a comprehensive strategy that promotes American 
values and supports regional security--in the midst of 
extraordinary tumult.


            challenge 1: preserving u.s. security interests 
                    and promoting democratic values


    Policymakers must strike a balance between security 
interests and the promotion of fundamental freedoms. While the 
United States has significant economic and security interests 
in the Gulf, it should not be seen as opposed to popular reform 
efforts.
    The United States and the world's primary strategic 
interest in the Persian Gulf is economic. Fifty-four percent of 
the world's proven oil reserves and 40 percent of its proven 
natural gas reserves are located in the Gulf region. In 2011, 
only about 16 percent of the United States imported crude oil 
originated from the GCC or Iraq.\95\ But crude oil is an 
international commodity, and in recent years the market has 
been tight. Given the political volatility of the Middle East 
and the volume of oil originating there--in 2011, almost 20 
percent of all traded oil transited the Strait of Hormuz \96\--
oil markets seem to be particularly sensitive to political 
developments in the Gulf. Thus, at a time of tenuous economic 
recovery in the United States and globally, there is a 
correlation between stability in the Gulf and the United States 
economic health.
    Energy security is not the only American interest in the 
Gulf region. The promotion of human rights and good governance 
is undeniably an important component of American self-identity. 
Because of the Gulf states' enormous petrochemical wealth and 
relatively small populations, calls for democratic reform had, 
at least until the Arab Awakening, been relatively muted. But 
communities of activists and reformers exist in all of the 
countries and they have often been poorly treated. U.S. 
officials should be cautious about engaging in domestic affairs 
of other countries, but should not shy away from speaking out 
publicly on behalf of those seeking reform. Indeed, governments 
that address the aspirations and grievances of their people are 
more stable over the long term and consequently better security 
partners for the United States.
    However, the United States needs to be careful not to be 
perceived as undertaking a capricious or erratic policy. 
Abandoning allies is a strategy that is unlikely to advance the 
United States long-term interests. The United States derives 
significant leverage from being the prime security provider for 
the Gulf region. While American military hardware remains the 
most desirable in the world, European, Russian or Chinese 
equipment may be seen as more appealing if it does not come 
with strings attached. Pressure and disengagement are important 
tools in the diplomatic toolkit, but if used improperly, they 
can also lead to a loss of influence.
    Amid relatively high sectarian tensions in the Middle 
East--a consequence of violence in Iraq and, more recently, in 
Syria, and growing concerns about Iran--the United States 
should encourage its partners, including in the Gulf region, to 
pursue nonsectarian policies. While the United States 
relationship with Iran is antagonistic, it should continue to 
emphasize its desire for a diplomatic outcome and be careful to 
avoid being drawn into a sectarian rivalry. Just as senior 
American officials distinguish between the Iranian people and 
their government, so too must they be careful not to view Arab 
Shiites as a monolithic community.

          Recommendation: The United States should leverage its 
        strategic position to be a steady force for moderation, 
        stability, and nonsectarianism, through patient and 
        persistent engagement in support of human rights. The 
        United States should not rush to rescind security 
        assurances or assistance in response to human rights 
        abuses, but should evaluate each case on its own 
        merits. U.S. Government officials should use these 
        tools to advance human rights through careful 
        diplomacy. Consistency is a hallmark of a successful 
        security partnership. Nonetheless, there should be 
        redlines associated with the U.S. security agreements 
        in the Gulf, like elsewhere. The United States should 
        make clear that states must not use arms procured from 
        the United States against their own people engaged in 
        peaceful assembly or exploit the U.S. security umbrella 
        as protection for belligerent action against their 
        neighbors.


      challenge 2: the composition of the gulf security framework


    While the GCC is becoming a more independent and effective 
actor, the United States remains crucial to the region's 
stability. The Gulf monarchies have for centuries depended on 
outside security guarantors, a role played by the United States 
since the British left in 1971. Recently, they have emerged 
from this historic dependency. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, 
in particular, are playing more prominent roles on the regional 
and even global stage.
    While the GCC's role in the 1991 liberation of Kuwait was 
fairly marginal, Qatar's and the UAE's participation in the 
2011 NATO campaign in Libya was more robust, even though the 
campaign was of far less strategic significance to the Gulf 
states. The GCC is also becoming more active politically, 
emerging as a critical subgroup of the Arab League. The GCC 
pushed for Arab endorsement for military action in Libya, was 
instrumental in the political transition in Yemen, and has been 
at the vanguard of Arab action in Syria. The GCC's Peninsula 
Shield action in Bahrain is another example of the Gulf states 
operating together, though this operation seems to have 
complicated prospects for political compromise in Bahrain.
    However, intra-GCC security cooperation is still heavily 
reliant on American leadership. For the GCC to be effective, it 
will have to become increasingly interoperable. But there are 
significant limitations on Gulf states' willingness to 
integrate. Thus, the emerging Gulf security architecture is 
likely to involve the United States in a significant role 
coordinating regional cooperation. That role makes the United 
States crucial to the viability of a security framework, a 
position the U.S. Government should seek to reinforce in a 
region where so many vital national security interests are at 
stake.
    U.S. diplomatic engagement with the GCC will be vital to 
the future of the Gulf, but security cooperation is likely to 
be the cornerstone of a stable regional framework. Through 
joint exercises, training evolutions, bilateral exchanges, and 
security assistance the United States can build the capacity of 
GCC partners to shape the Gulf security architecture to be 
mutually beneficial to American and regional interests. As the 
world's predominant power, the United States should regularly 
facilitate such interaction on a multilateral and bilateral 
basis. Although much of the U.S. engagement to foster a 
symbiotic relationship takes place between militaries, the 
State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs should 
continue to play a central role. Diplomats must coordinate the 
final policy determinations for the region by effectively 
gauging the dynamics that contribute to U.S. national security 
interests, including economics, security, human rights, 
development, and governance.

          Recommendation: The United States should seek to 
        remain a central part of the Gulf security framework. 
        The administration should encourage the development of 
        institutions like the GCC and Arab League, while 
        seeking to strengthen bilateral ties. However, the GCC 
        is not a monolith, and a multilateral architecture must 
        accommodate the significant differences among the Gulf 
        states. The United States has a unique diplomatic and 
        security role to play in the GCC. To protect its 
        regional security interests, the United States should 
        seek to reinforce its position as a core interlocutor 
        around which intra-GCC security is organized, through 
        robust diplomatic and economic engagement, military-to-
        military cooperation, and security assistance. However, 
        there is concern in various GCC capitals that the 
        United States has not been forthcoming enough in 
        communicating its vision of how it would like this 
        cooperation to evolve amidst the political turmoil of 
        the Arab Awakening. American officials should seek to 
        ameliorate these concerns by more clearly articulating 
        to its GCC partners the United States vision for a Gulf 
        security framework, as well as its strategic priorities 
        for the broader region.


                 challenge 3: economic diversification


    The Gulf region's tremendous hydrocarbon resources and 
strong macroeconomic growth in recent years mask structural 
human capital and unemployment challenges that could cause 
longer term problems. The use of expatriate labor over the last 
several decades has helped the region to quickly develop an 
advanced infrastructure, but it has led to an underdevelopment 
of the region's local human capital.
    The Gulf is the world's richest region and has enjoyed 
strong macroeconomic growth in recent years, due primarily to 
high oil prices. On the surface, the Gulf economies are 
booming. While the unrest in Bahrain caused significant 
economic damage and the continuing fall-out of Dubai's 2008 
real estate crash has slowed the UAE's growth, as a whole the 
GCC region enjoyed an estimated 6.8 percent growth in real GDP 
in 2011 and forecasts suggest approximately 4 percent growth in 
2012 and 2013. With the exception of Bahrain, the GCC countries 
have recorded large budget surpluses in recent years, and are 
likely to remain in surplus in 2012, despite lower oil 
prices.\97\
    But this wealth is unevenly distributed and has led to 
undiversified economies. Bahrain and to a lesser extent Oman 
lack the immense hydrocarbon wealth of their neighbors. Even in 
Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE, an extraordinarily high standard of 
living masks structural human capital and unemployment 
challenges that could cause longer term problems. Because the 
economies are heavily dependent on hydrocarbons, sectors other 
than construction, consumables and finance are crowed out, 
leading to concerns that the region is spending beyond its 
means.
    According to Mahmoud El-Gamal and Amy Jaffe of Rice 
University, the Gulf states are ``consuming the region's 
nonrenewable capital, instead of finding smooth paths for 
sustainable consumption and investment.'' El-Gamal and Jaffe 
argue that the spending of hydrocarbon rents results in stark 
inequalities in wealth and perpetuates the cycle of speculative 
financial and construction bubbles based on the volatility of 
oil and gas markets.\98\
    Bahrain, Oman, the UAE and Saudi Arabia all suffer from 
double-digit unemployment.\99\ For example, according to a 2010 
study by Booz and Company, 48 percent of Saudi citizens aged 
between 20 and 24, and 31 percent between 25 and 29, were 
unemployed.\100\ Unemployment disproportionately affects women 
and those under 30 years old, and often lasts for extended 
periods of time. Public spending alone is unlikely to meet the 
social and economic demands of these constituencies.
    Multiple factors contribute to this structural unemployment 
problem. While small and medium enterprises constitute a 
majority of private firms in developed countries, they account 
for only a minimal share of the overall economic output of the 
Gulf region.\101\ Public sector employment across the GCC 
crowds out the private sector, especially when vast numbers of 
expatriates from across the Middle East and beyond, many of 
them highly skilled, are willing to work for lesser wages. This 
use of expatriate labor over the last several decades has 
helped the region to quickly develop an advanced 
infrastructure, but it has also contributed to a significant 
under-investment in the region's indigenous human capital.\102\
    The Gulf states have recognized this dilemma and to varying 
degrees have sought to diversify their economies and better 
prepare their workforces for the global marketplace. Across the 
region, a number of high-profile educational initiatives have 
been undertaken, including the founding of Saudi Arabia's first 
coeducational university, King Abdullah University of Science 
and Technology; the creation of Education City in Qatar, which 
hosts branch campuses of six American universities, including 
Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon and Northwestern Universities; and 
the establishment of a number of American branch campuses in 
the UAE, including New York University and Rochester Institute 
of Technology.
    Dubai's economy was originally built on the hydrocarbon 
sector, but oil and gas sales now account for less than 6 
percent of the economy.\103\ Although it will take the city 
several years to fully recover from the 2008 real estate crash, 
the city has managed to transform itself into an international 
hub for commerce, finance and tourism, boasting a world-class 
airline and the largest man-made harbor on the planet. While 
Dubai's model is unlikely to be fully replicated elsewhere, it 
is an indication that the creation of free trade zones and 
reducing barriers to entry can stimulate the non-hydrocarbon 
sector.
    Similarly, while Oman is culturally more conservative than 
Dubai, the country has made noteworthy social and economic 
strides in the last four decades. It has quadrupled literacy 
rates and increased life expectancy by approximately 27 years. 
Oman was rated by the United Nations Development Programme 
(UNDP) as having enjoyed the greatest improvement in its Human 
Development Index score of any country in the world between 
1970 and 2010.\104\

          Recommendation: The United States should work with 
        GCC states to promote economic reform and 
        diversification, as well as increased trade relations. 
        To help the GCC countries tackle their structural 
        unemployment and underemployment challenges, the United 
        States should focus on educational and labor reforms, 
        as well as the promotion of entrepreneurship. Trade 
        promotion is also an important tool for the 
        administration. The United States currently has Free 
        Trade Agreements with Bahrain and Oman, and Ambassador 
        Ronald Kirk, the U.S. Trade Representative, has cited 
        the need to increase trade with the GCC, as it 
        ``continues to develop as a regional organization, 
        aiming to harmonize standards, import regulations, and 
        conformity assessment systems affecting U.S. trade.'' 
        \105\ At the first meeting of the Strategic Cooperation 
        Forum between the United States and the GCC in Riyadh 
        on 31 March 2012, progress was made toward a ``GCC-U.S. 
        Framework Agreement on Trade, Economic, Investment, and 
        Technical Cooperation.'' \106\


            challenge 4: u.s. military presence in the gulf


    The United States should carefully shape and balance its 
military presence to protect the free-flow of critical natural 
resources and to provide a counterbalance to Iran.
    Even as the war in Iraq has come to an end and the 
coalition footprint in Afghanistan is on a downward trajectory, 
the Persian Gulf remains a focal point for the American 
military. Bases located throughout the region provide staging 
and logistical functions and serve as command and control nerve 
centers.
    Amid the possibility of a conflict against Iran in the 
region, it is imperative that the U.S. military appropriately 
shape the size and structure of its presence in the Gulf. A 
2010 Department of Defense report illustrates that Iran retains 
a significant conventional military. Iran's population is twice 
that of the combined GCC countries, and with ground forces 
numbering over 350,000, approximately 1,800 tanks, over 300 
fighter aircraft, and capable air defenses, the Iranian 
military would pose a significant threat to the Gulf states 
should conflict arise.\107\ Iran also has a ballistic missile 
capability with enough range to target regional allies, 
including Israel, and a number of coastal defense cruise 
missiles designed to prevent access to the Persian Gulf. 
Perhaps Iran's most viable capability is its ability to wage 
asymmetric warfare throughout the region. The Iranian 
Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite unit, the Quds Force, is an 
active sponsor of terrorist activity, aiding Shia militants in 
Iraq, insurgents in Afghanistan, and Hezbollah and Hamas in the 
Levant. Iran's fleet of small patrol craft is also capable of 
mining the Strait of Hormuz and conducting swarming maritime 
tactics.
    From its height in 1991, with over half a million forces, 
the American military footprint in the Persian Gulf is now much 
reduced. Thousands of military personnel remain in Kuwait, 
Bahrain, the UAE, and Qatar. But more important than the number 
of U.S. forces in the region is the access that the United 
States retains to critical basing infrastructure.
    Kuwait is home to facilities including Camp Arifjan, Ali Al 
Salem Air Field, and Camp Buehring which offer the United 
States major staging points and training ranges for regional 
operations. In Qatar, Al Udeid Air Base is a major logistical 
hub and operation center. In the UAE, American forces use Al 
Dhafra Air Base to stage fighter, attack, and reconnaissance 
aircraft. The UAE port at Jebel Ali, large enough to 
accommodate an aircraft carrier, is host to more American 
military ship visits than any other port outside the United 
States. Even the smallest GCC country, Bahrain, houses naval 
facilities that span 60 acres and is a regular host to U.S. 
carrier and amphibious battle groups, minesweepers, and coastal 
patrol craft. The United States also maintains an integrated 
missile defense system in the Gulf with Patriot batteries 
located in a number of GCC States. Moreover, GCC partners 
subsidize much of the U.S. presence on their soil.
    The governments of Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, and Bahrain are 
pleased to accommodate U.S. forces, but care must be taken to 
ensure that U.S. forces keep a low profile and do not violate 
traditional local social mores. Historically, U.S. troops 
stationed in the Gulf have been victim to terrorist attacks and 
central to Osama bin Laden's argument that the United States 
was an occupier of sacred Muslim lands. While the American 
presence extends a security umbrella, it is also important to 
maintain the appearance of an ``over the horizon'' force--one 
that stays just far enough out of sight to avoid the image of 
an occupying power.

          Recommendation: The United States should preserve the 
        model of ``lily pad'' bases throughout the Gulf, which 
        permits rapid escalations of military force in case of 
        emergency. The Obama administration has adopted this 
        architecture by retaining only essential personnel in 
        the region while ensuring access to critical hubs such 
        as Camp Arifjan, Al Udeid, Al Dhafra, Jebel Ali, and 
        Naval Support Activity Bahrain. Such an agile footprint 
        enables the United States to quickly deploy its 
        superior conventional force should conflict arise, 
        without maintaining a costly and unsustainable 
        presence. Sustaining physical infrastructure and 
        enabling functions such as intelligence, surveillance, 
        and logistics, while keeping certain war reserve 
        materiel forward positioned, is more important than 
        deploying large numbers of U.S. forces.


             challenge 5: burden-sharing with gcc partners


    Although the UAE and Qatar have demonstrated a willingness 
to operate in the coalition environment, most Gulf states are 
not yet fully capable of independently providing tactical 
support to the United States in times of crisis. U.S. leaders 
should not expect more from the Gulf states than they are 
capable of or willing to provide, and they must be careful not 
to upset a volatile region by introducing, through security 
assistance, overwhelming offensive military capabilities that 
could lead to an arms race.
    After a decade of war and unbridled spending on defense as 
the world's primary security guarantor, the United States will 
have to chart a more sustainable course. The U.S. military 
retains a significant advantage in conventional capability 
relative to allies and adversaries alike. Technologically, U.S. 
equipment is state-of-the-art; its troops are the most well-
trained in the world; and only the U.S. military can integrate 
coalition efforts on a broad scale with its unique command and 
control structure. Yet, even the U.S. military cannot be 
everywhere at once. The foundation for a sustainable security 
architecture will be continued American military dominance, but 
U.S. leaders must also leverage the support of regional allies. 
Burden-sharing lightens the yoke of U.S. responsibility and 
represents a more financially justifiable model of 
international security.
    There is a new equilibrium in the Middle East, as the Arab 
Awakening, immense oil and gas reserves, and the war in Iraq 
have shifted the center of gravity towards the Gulf states. The 
GCC has shown an increased willingness to operate on the 
international scene. In support of NATO efforts in Libya, the 
UAE demonstrated it was a capable ally in strike operations. 
Qatari forces, although still evolving as an air power, played 
a critical role on the ground, aiding the Libyan opposition in 
their march towards Tripoli. Kuwaiti missile defense 
capabilities are much improved as operators have made 
significant strides in their training. With a significant 
threat from al Qaeda still in the region, Saudi Arabia and Oman 
are vital partners in counterterrorism operations. Even the 
small Kingdom of Bahrain has shown the ability to operate in 
the maritime coastal patrol environment.
    The United States can leverage the burgeoning capabilities 
of its GCC allies, but there are potential pitfalls. U.S. 
leaders must be sensitive not to expect more from the Gulf 
states than they are capable or willing to provide. They must 
be careful not to upset a volatile region by introducing, 
through security assistance, overwhelming offensive military 
capabilities that could lead to an arms race. The GCC States 
are still developing faculties to maintain equipment, 
logistically support forces, and provide command, control, and 
intelligence fusion. Although the relationship has grown, the 
Gulf states' interests are not always aligned with those of the 
United States. Nevertheless, an equilibrium can exist between 
regional security responsibilities and the role Gulf states are 
willing and able to play. Developing key defensive 
proficiencies in the Gulf states will allow them to provide for 
their own legitimate security needs, while contributing to U.S. 
theater plans.
    Foremost among these capabilities is missile defense, an 
inherently defensive mission. Interoperability in this regime 
will improve U.S. defense-in-depth. In other words, U.S. 
capabilities will become more robust by supporting partner 
capacity. However, when U.S. leaders transfer security 
responsibility to GCC partners, they must make sure technical 
agreements are firmly in place to provide the necessary access 
to U.S. operators.
    At the Integrated Air Missile Defense Center in the UAE, 
the United States is building the capacity of its GCC partners 
to engage it advanced tactics against ballistic missile, cruise 
missile, and airborne threats. In October 2011, all the GCC 
states took part in Falcon Shield, an integrated missile 
defense exercise showcasing these skills with the United 
States.
    Another capability that can be improved is airpower such as 
airlift, combat air patrol and, in select circumstances where 
adept allies prove their competency, air strike. Airpower can 
be used both defensively and offensively, so it must be 
developed cautiously. However, Gulf states such as the UAE and 
Qatar have already contributed airpower to coalition efforts, 
and therefore, merit additional training to improve their 
capacity for future internationally sanctioned initiatives. 
Airlift is another niche competency that GCC states can 
develop. Qatar deployed humanitarian supplies--aboard its 
American-made C-17s--to countries like Pakistan, Haiti, and 
Sudan suffering catastrophes. With additional assets and 
training, the Gulf states can expand their role in these types 
of missions. Finally, the GCC States can improve in the 
innately defensive role of air combat patrol--the use of 
fighter aircraft to safeguard international borders and 
national assets. At the Air Warfare Center in Al Dhafra, the 
United States is helping to build these skills through joint 
exercises and training.
    GCC allies can also effectively contribute to maritime 
security by developing competencies in demining, coastal 
patrol, and counterpiracy. These aptitudes are necessary to 
maintain the free flow of commerce, undergird counterterrorism 
efforts, and protect the coastal borders of the Gulf states. 
Based in Bahrain, Combined Task Force 151--dedicated to 
counter-piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of 
Somalia--and Combined Task Force 152--responsible for theater 
security cooperation and maritime security--are international 
efforts to share maritime security responsibilities in the 
Gulf. Through these coalitions, the United States is 
establishing common tactics, techniques, and procedures that 
advance the GCC States' ability to operate in coalition 
environments.

          Recommendation: The U.S. Government should continue 
        to cultivate the capabilities of GCC partners in select 
        defensive missions, such as missile defense, combat air 
        patrol, and maritime security, while building capacity 
        through deployments in other theaters such as Libya and 
        Afghanistan. Burden-sharing does not imply that the 
        United States is abandoning the region or relinquishing 
        its role as a security guarantor. Rather, it is 
        intended to deepen strategic ties with the Gulf by 
        building the competencies of the GCC States through 
        joint exercises, security assistance, and training. 
        Over time, these partnerships can improve the 
        effectiveness of Gulf militaries, promote trust, and 
        provide for the transfer of American political-military 
        values such as respect for civilian authority, human 
        rights, and the rule-of-law. However, the Obama 
        administration should carefully consider what missions 
        it expects the Gulf states to execute effectively.


                    challenge 6: security assistance


    The United States should carefully determine how much 
security assistance to provide to its Gulf partners. The Gulf 
states--in particular Saudi Arabia and the UAE--are prolific 
buyers of U.S. arms, but they are also willing to buy from 
other international sellers. That does not mean however, the 
United States should grant whatever capabilities to the GCC 
States that they desire.
    Security assistance--the equipping or training of foreign 
security forces through the sale, grant, loan, or transfer of 
defense articles or equipment--is a central means by which the 
United States will build an effective security framework in the 
Gulf. Since the Second World War, the United States has used 
its industrial capability to provide for the legitimate defense 
needs of friendly countries and further its national security 
objectives abroad.
    Traditional forms of security assistance afford the U.S. 
Department of State with management and oversight 
responsibility and the U.S. Department of Defense with 
implementation authority. Congress plays an important role in 
the security assistance process as well. In addition to 
authorizing and appropriating grant funding, it must be 
notified if arms sales exceed certain monetary thresholds.\108\ 
This oversight role provides Congress with the ability to 
influence, and potentially block, arms sales. Thus, while the 
process can be cumbersome and time-consuming, there is an 
essential whole-of-government approach to the policy 
formulation, implementation, and oversight of security 
assistance.
    Traditional forms of security assistance include Foreign 
Military Sales (FMS), Direct Commercial Sales (DCS), Foreign 
Military Financing (FMF), International Military Training and 
Education (IMET), and Non-proliferation, Anti-terrorism, 
Demining, and Related assistance (NADR).\109\ The FMS program 
allows countries to purchase U.S. arms, equipment, services, 
and training with the U.S. government acting as a broker 
between the recipient nation and U.S. defense contractors. DCS 
affords foreign buyers the ability to negotiate directly with 
U.S. defense contractors for the purchase of military 
equipment, which is ultimately licensed by the U.S. Government 
for sale.\110\ FMF is grant funding for use by recipient 
nations to purchase U.S. defense goods through FMS or DCS. IMET 
is grant funding that provides training to foreign security 
forces and officials. Finally, NADR is grant assistance that 
aids in a variety of initiatives from arms control to 
counterterrorism.
    From 2007-2010, the six states of the GCC agreed to the 
purchase of more U.S. defense articles and services through the 
Foreign Military Sales program--over $26.7 billion--than any 
other region in the world. The United States has sold or 
granted significant military capabilities to the Gulf states 
including fighter-attack aircraft, airlift, missile defense 
systems, tanks, armored vehicles, and a panoply of advanced 
armaments. In fiscal year 2010 alone, the United States 
licensed hundreds of millions of dollars in defense articles 
and services to the Gulf states through Direct Commercial 
Sales,\111\ and through foreign military education the United 
States trained over 2,900 students from the GCC States at an 
estimated value of $111 million.

          Recommendation: The United States should continue to 
        supply Gulf partners with security assistance that 
        supports a comprehensive strategy for regional arms 
        sales to ensure a stable security architecture. 
        However, the United States should be scrupulous in 
        determining which weapons systems to sell in order to 
        (1) ensure that sales contribute to regional security 
        and do not weaken the position of Israel, (2) support 
        the legitimate defense requirements of Gulf partners, 
        (3) prevent a regional arms race, and (4) protect its 
        technological superiority.\112\
          The United States derives five principal benefits 
        from the transfer of defense equipment and training:



   Interoperability: Security assistance allows the 
        United States to leverage the manpower, regional 
        expertise, and willingness of GCC States to conduct 
        joint operations. When the United States provides 
        regional allies with military equipment that is 
        interoperable with American systems, it can improve the 
        effectiveness and situational awareness of both the 
        recipient and the United States. Moreover, the training 
        and sustainment services that accompany these sales 
        convey to allies the common tactics and procedures that 
        become the foundation of coalition operations.


   Access: Security assistance is a powerful lever that 
        provides U.S. security forces access to basing rights 
        and privileged passage through critical transit routes. 
        This access has allowed the United States to support 
        operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and permits an 
        enduring presence in the region in support of U.S. 
        national interests.


   Leverage: The ``total package'' approach that 
        includes the transfer of U.S. weapons and technology to 
        GCC partners incorporates not only equipment but also 
        training, supplies, and replacement parts. Thus, 
        reliance on U.S. support becomes vital for the 
        continued effective operation of defense articles. This 
        provision allows the U.S. Government to reevaluate if a 
        particular arms sale is in the best interest of 
        national security long after the initial transfer 
        occurs.


   Relationships: Training associated with security 
        assistance provides the foundation of the military-to-
        military cooperation and reinforces political 
        relationships. These associations help U.S. trainers 
        impart values to recipient military officials such as 
        respect for civilian authority. Moreover, such 
        cooperation gives the United States a keen awareness of 
        the competencies of its partners.


   Regional Balance: The provision of security 
        assistance to the GCC States can help balance regional 
        security. The infusion of certain weapons and 
        competences could prove to be an effective deterrent 
        against Iran. However, security assistance should be 
        offered with caution to avoid compromising U.S. 
        technological advantages, exacerbating intrastate 
        conflict, or provoking a regional arms race. The United 
        States must maintain the quantitative military edge of 
        Israel by carefully weighing all potential arms sales 
        to the region.


                     challenge 7: iraq integration


    Relations between the Gulf monarchies and Iraq remain cool. 
There has been a tendency of some Arab states to remain 
disengaged from Iraq, largely over its relations with Iran. 
Unfortunately, this tendency has had the effect of pushing Iraq 
closer to Iran.
    Since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the GCC has generally 
had poor relations with Iraq. Despite their animosity towards 
Saddam Hussein, most Gulf states had reservations about the 
2003 invasion of Iraq, and since then, Saudi Arabia in 
particular has been deeply concerned about Iran's influence on 
Baghdad.\113\ Unfortunately, this tendency to disengage from 
Iraq seems to have actually reinforced Iran's role, since it 
leaves Turkey, which is not inclined to pursue sectarian 
policies, as the only other regional power deeply engaged in 
Iraq.
    In recent months, however, there have been signs that the 
Gulf states are slowly changing their policies out of necessity 
due to the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. 
Additionally, Iraq itself has modified some of its foreign 
policy positions in order to have a successful Arab League 
presidency, which it took over in March.\114\
    In April, the annual Arab League summit was held in Iraq 
for the first time since 1990, during which Iraq joined the 
Arab League consensus on Syria. While Iraq is unlikely to join 
Gulf states in directly providing assistance to the Syrian 
opposition, the move does suggest that Iraq has moved away from 
Iran, which continues to provide unconditional support for 
President Bashar al-Assad. Though most GCC countries sent 
relatively low-level delegations, the Kuwaiti Emir, Sheikh 
Sabah al-Sabah, attended and was warmly welcomed by Iraqi Prime 
Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a symbolically important gesture that 
marked the first visit by a Kuwaiti Emir to Iraq since the 1990 
invasion. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia named a nonresident 
ambassador, also for the first time since 1990, and the UAE has 
undertaken a nascent security dialogue with Iraq.

          Recommendation: The United States should promote the 
        gradual political reintegration of Iraq into the Arab 
        fold. Iraq's Arab League presidency in 2012 is an 
        opportunity for the United States to promote a 
        rebalancing of the Gulf's security architecture, 
        improved counterterrorism cooperation between Iraq and 
        the GCC, and a reduction in sectarian tensions. In 
        particular, in light of reciprocal visits by Kuwaiti 
        Emir Sheikh Sabah and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-
        Maliki, there may be opportunities for progress on the 
        outstanding bilateral issues dating to the 1990 Iraqi 
        invasion of Kuwait, including border demarcation, war 
        reparations, and the disposition of missing Kuwaiti 
        citizens.

                               Conclusion

    As extraordinary change sweeps the Middle East, the United 
States is confronted with a shifting security landscape in the 
Persian Gulf region. Despite this transformation, the rationale 
for continued American engagement in the region is compelling. 
The world's energy security is inextricably linked to the 
Gulf's abundant supply of hydrocarbons. Iran, one of the United 
States most pressing security threats, continues to defy 
international condemnation in its pursuit of a nuclear 
capability. The Arabian Peninsula remains both a potential 
target and dangerous source of international terrorism. Many of 
the Gulf states are still a base of operations for some of the 
U.S. military's most critical missions from the war in 
Afghanistan to counter-piracy in the Gulf of Aden to 
antiterrorism efforts throughout the Middle East.
    With the withdrawal of American forces after more than 8 
years of war in Iraq, U.S. policymakers need to erect a 
security framework to protect American strategic interests and 
signal to allies that the United States is not abandoning the 
region. The United States is still a predominant power, but it 
should not seek to establish stability in the Gulf on its own. 
Thus, a Gulf security architecture should rely not only on the 
U.S. military but also, the burgeoning security forces of the 
GCC States.
    However, as it increasingly looks to share security burdens 
with GCC partners, the U.S. Government should be pragmatic in 
developing capabilities that Gulf states can effectively 
execute and that do not upset the regional balance of power. 
The United States should carefully apportion security 
assistance to the GCC States to buttress their capacity to 
undertake defensive missions. Added benefits will accrue from 
the provision of security assistance including increased 
interoperability and access to basing infrastructure and 
transit routes.
    Even as partnerships with Gulf states improve, the U.S. 
military should maintain a foothold in what is still a 
dangerous neighborhood. The United States remains the only 
country capable of coalescing disparate security forces into a 
cohesive alliance.
    U.S. interests are not limited to security alone. Intrinsic 
to American exceptionalism is the persistent pursuit of 
fundamental human rights. In a Gulf region where security 
interests do not always converge with human rights concerns, 
this requires delicate policy decisions. Through security 
cooperation, U.S. officials have a forum to consistently engage 
with GCC partners not only on defense issues, but also with 
respect to key principles like civilian authority and the rule-
of-law. Through robust diplomacy, Americans can hope to 
gradually change the regional landscape, and in turn promote 
U.S. interests.

----------------
End Notes

\1\ Though implemented by the Obama Administration, the 
bilateral security agreement was negotiated by the Bush 
administration and signed in November 2008, shortly before the 
Obama Administration took office.

\2\ According to the 2011 BP Statistical Review of World 
Energy, at the end of 2010, the six GCC states plus Iraq and 
Iran had 747 billion of the world's 1,383 billion barrels of 
proven oil reserves (54%) and 75 trillion of the world's 187 
trillion cubic meters of proven natural gas reserves (40%). 
See: BP, ``Statistical Review of World Energy June 2011,'' 
http://www.bp.com/statisticalreview, accessed 28 February 2012.

\3\  See tables 1 and 2 after the executive summary. These 
figures are based on data provided from the Defense Security 
Cooperation Agency. See: Defense Security Cooperation Agency, 
Foreign Military Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and 
Other Security Cooperation, Historical Facts as of 30 September 
2010, http://www.dsca.mil/programs/biz-ops/factsbook/
FiscalYearSeries-2010.pdf, accessed 10 November 2011.

\4\ U.S. Department of State, Press Releases: 2011, Special 
Joint Press Briefing on U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia, 29 
December 2011, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/12/
179777.htm, accessed 29 December 2011; Christopher Blanchard, 
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations, Report RL33533 
(Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 10 March 
2011), 9.

\5\ The Arms Export Control Act explicitly states that no 
defense articles or services shall be sold or leased to foreign 
recipients unless ``the President finds that the furnishing of 
defense articles and defense services to such a country or 
international organization will strengthen the security of the 
United States and promote world peace.'' See Eligibility for 
Defense Services or Defense Articles, U.S. Code 22 (1976), 
Sec.  2753.

\6\1A James Onley, ``Britain and the Gulf Shaikhdoms, 1820-
1971: The Politics of Protection,'' Occasional Paper no. 4 
(Center for International and Regional Studies, Georgetown 
University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, 2009),http://
www12.georgetown.edu/sfs/qatar/cirs/
JamesOnleyCIRSOccasionalPaper2009.pdf, accessed 13 April 2012.

\7\  Robert Schneller, Jr. Anchor of Resolve: A History of U.S. 
Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet (Washington DC: Naval 
Historical Center, Department of the Navy, 2007), http://
www.history.navy.mil/pubs/AnchorofResolve--web.pdf, accessed 13 
April 2012.

\8\ Jimmy Carter, ``The State of the Union Address Delivered 
Before a Joint Session of the Congress. January 23, 1980,'' The 
American Presidency Project, University of California, Santa 
Barbara, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/
index.php?pid=33079#axzz1spb4HZYc, accessed 22 April 2012.

\9\ Martin Indyk, ``U.S. Policy Priorities in the Gulf: 
Challenges and Choices,'' in International Interests in the 
Gulf Region (Abu Dhabi, UAE: Emirates Center for Strategic 
Studies and Research, 2004), http://www.brookings.edu/views/
articles/indyk/20041231.pdf, accessed 13 April 2012.

\10\ Martin Indyk, ``The Clinton Administration's Approach to 
the Middle East,'' Soref Symposium Keynote Address (Washington 
Institute for Near East Policy, Washington DC, 18 May 1993), 
http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/the-
clinton-administrations-approach-to-the-middle-east, accessed 
13 April 2012.

\11\ At the GCC consultative summit in Riyadh in May, Saudi 
Arabia proposed an evolution from cooperation council towards 
union and a study of the proposal was approved. Though Bahrain 
has publicly supported the idea, other GCC leaders have been 
more cautious.

\12\ BP, ``Statistical Review of World Energy June 2011,'' 
accessed 28 February 2012.

\13\ As of March 2012, Saudi Arabia's daily oil production 
averaged 9.9 million barrels per day. Saudi officials have 
stated that the country is capable of producing 12.5 million 
barrels per day. Martin Baccardax, ``Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-
Naimi Ready to Lift Crude Output, Calls Current Prices 
`Unjustified,' '' International Business Times, 20 March 2012, 
http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/316880/20120320/oil-economy-
saudi-arabia-brent-crude.htm, accessed 13 April 2012.

\14\ Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, 
and Power (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), 284.

\15\ SFRC staff discussions, Riyadh, January 2012.

\16\ SFRC staff discussions, Riyadh, January 2012, and 
Washington DC.

\17\ Sharon Otterman, Saudi Arabia: Withdrawal of U.S. Forces 
(New York: Council on Foreign Relations, Publications, 2 May 
2003), http://www.cfr.org/saudi-arabia/saudi-arabia-withdrawl-
us-forces/p7739, accessed 11 February 2012.

\18\ PBS, ``Osama bin Laden v. the U.S.: Edicts and 
Statements,'' in Frontline: Hunting Bin Laden, http://
www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/binladen/who/
edicts.html#ixzz1piMOCaXR, accessed 13 April 2012. In 1995, a 
car bomb in Riyadh killed five U.S. servicemen, and in 1996, 19 
troops were killed in the bombing of the Khobar Towers. 
Frequent deadly, though less spectacular, attacks continued 
against American commercial and diplomatic interests--as well 
as against Saudi and international interests--until 2004, when 
Saudi counter-terrorism efforts against al-Qaeda began to get 
the upper hand. See also Sharon Otterman, Saudi Arabia: 
Withdrawal of U.S. Forces.

\19\ Kenneth Katzman, The Persian Gulf States: Issues for U.S. 
Policy, 2006, Report RL31533 (Washington, DC: Congressional 
Research Service, 21 August 2006), 8.

\20\ The International Institute for Strategic Studies, The 
Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), 328.

\21\ F. Gregory Gause III, ``Saudi Arabia in the New Middle 
East,'' Council Special Report No. 63 (New York: Council on 
Foreign Relations, 2011), 6-7. King Abdullah commanded the 
National Guard for more than three decades, until his son 
Prince Mutaib was appointed.

\22\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Foreign Military 
Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and Other Security 
Cooperation, Historical Facts as of 30 September 2010.

\23\ Richard Grimmett, U.S. Arms Sales: Agreements with and 
Deliveries to Major Clients, 2003-2010, Report R42121 
(Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 16 December 
2011), 3.

\24\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Arms Sales 
Notifications, http://www.dsca.mil/PressReleases/36-b/36b--
index.htm, accessed 17 March 2012.

\25\ U.S. Department of State, Press Releases: 2011, Special 
Joint Press Briefing on U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia, 29 
December 2011, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/12/
179777.htm, accessed 29 December 2011.

\26\ Christopher Blanchard, Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. 
Relations, Report RL33533 (Washington, DC: Congressional 
Research Service, 10 March 2011), 9.

\27\ U.S. Departments of Defense and State, Joint Report to 
Congress Pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, As 
Amended, and the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and 
Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008: Foreign Military 
Training, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011, http://www.state.gov/t/
pm/rls/rpt/fmtrpt/2011/index.htm, accessed 23 January 2012.

\28\ ``Saudi Aircraft Join in Air Force Exercise,'' Air Force 
Times, 9 February 2008, http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2008/
02/airforce--red--flag--080209w, accessed 11 March 2012.

\29\ U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget 
Justification, Foreign Operations, Annex: Regional 
Perspectives, Fiscal Year 2013, Washington DC, http://
www.state.gov/documents/organization/185015.pdf, accessed 28 
February 2012, 571; and Defense Security Cooperation Agency, 
Security Assistance Management Manual, http://www.dsca.mil/
samm/Chapter%2010%20-%20International%20Training.pdf, 427.

\30\ Robert Burns, ``U.S. Quietly Expanding Defense Ties with 
Saudis,'' Air Force Times, 19 May 2011, http://
www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/05/ap-us-quietly-expanding-
defense-ties-with-saudis-051911, accessed20 January 2012.

\31\ SFRC staff discussions, Kuwait, February 2012 and 
Washington, DC.

\32\ SFRC staff discussions, Kuwait, February 2012.

\33\ Kenneth Katzman, Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. 
Policy, Report RS21513 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research 
Service, February 8, 2012), 10-11.

\34\ The International Institute for Strategic Studies, The 
Military Balance 2011, 318.

\35\ Ibid., 317-318.

\36\ SFRC staff discussions, Kuwait, February 2012.

\37\ Combined Maritime Forces, Kuwaiti Navy Leads Stakenet 
Exercise, 16 February 2012, http://combinedmaritimeforces.com/
2012/02/16/kuwaiti-navy-leads-stakenet-exercise, accessed 16 
February 2012.

\38\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Foreign Military 
Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and Other Security 
Cooperation, Historical Facts as of 30 September 2010.

\39\ Joint Report to Congress Pursuant to the Foreign 
Assistance Act of 1961, As Amended, and the Department of 
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations 
Act, 2008: Foreign Military Training, Fiscal Years 2010 and 
2011.

\40\ SFRC staff discussions, Kuwait, February 2012.

\41\ SFRC staff discussions, Bahrain, April 2011.

\42\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Bahrain - M1152A1B2 
HMMWVs and TOW-2A and TOW-2B Missiles, www.dsca.mil/
PressReleases/36-b/2011/Bahrain--10-71.pdf, accessed 17 March 
2012.

\43\ John Donnelly, ``Amid the Arab Spring, A Balancing Act in 
Bahrain,'' Congressional Quarterly, 5 November 2011, http://
public.cq.com/docs/weeklyreport/weeklyreport-000003976649.html, 
accessed 17 March 2012.

\44\ U.S. Department of State, Press Releases: 2012, Bahrain 
Security Assistance, 27 January 2012, http://www.state.gov/r/
pa/prs/ps/2012/01/182695.htm, accessed 27 January 2012.

\45\ Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, Report of the 
Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, 23 November 2011, 
http://www.bici.org.bh/BICIreportEN.pdf, accessed 12 April 
2012, paragraphs 1240, 1584, 1694, and 1698.

\46\ International Crisis Group, Conflict Risk Alert: Bahrain, 
16 April 2012, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/
media-releases/2012/mena/conflict-risk-alert-bahrain.aspx, 
accessed 22 April 2012.

\47\ Kenneth Katzman, Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. 
Policy, Report 95-1013 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research 
Service, 29 December 2011), 20-21.

\48\ Commander Navy Installations Command, CNIC/ Naval Support 
Activity Bahrain, http://www.cnic.navy.mil/bahrain/, accessed 
20 February 2012.

\49\ Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy, 20.

\50\ The International Institute for Strategic Studies, The 
Military Balance 2011, 305; SFRC staff discussion, Bahrain, 
April 2011.

\51\ Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy, 21.

\52\ Krishna Jackson, Press Release #151-11: U.S. Navy EOD and 
Divers and Bahrain Defense Forces Strengthen Partnerships, U.S. 
Naval Forces Central Command, 1 December 2011, http://
www.cusnc.navy.mil/articles/2011/151.html, accessed 29 December 
2011.

\53\ U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget 
Justification, Foreign Operations, Annex: Regional 
Perspectives, Fiscal Year 2013, http://www.state.gov/documents/
organization/185015.pdf, accessed 10 March 2012.

\54\ In past years, Bahrain has purchased advanced U.S. defense 
equipment such as F-16s and air-to-air missiles. Defense 
Security Cooperation Agency, Foreign Military Sales, Foreign 
Military Construction Sales and Other Security Cooperation, 
Historical Facts as of 30 September 2010.

\55\ In previous years, Bahrain received a U.S. frigate through 
this program. U.S. Department of State, Report By The 
Department of State Pursuant to Section 655 of the Foreign 
Assistance Act of 1961, As Amended: Annual Report of Military 
Assistance and Military Exports, Fiscal Year 2011.

\56\ Joint Report to Congress Pursuant to the Foreign 
Assistance Act of 1961, As Amended, and the Department of 
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations 
Act, 2008: Foreign Military Training, Fiscal Years 2010 and 
2011.

\57\ Christopher Blanchard, Qatar: Background and U.S. 
Relations, Report RL31718 (Washington, DC: Congressional 
Research Service, 16 May 2011), 8-9.

\58\ Ibid, 11-12.

\59\ U.S. Department of Defense, News Transcript: Media 
Availability with Secretary Panetta en Route to Bali, 
Indonesia, 21 October 2011, http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/
transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4907, accessed 15 December 2011.

\60\ Qatar: Background and U.S. Relations, 9.

\61\ SFRC staff discussions, Qatar, February 2012.

\62\ Hugh Eakin, ``The Strange Power of Qatar,'' The New York 
Review of Books, 27 October 2011, http://www.nybooks.com/
articles/archives/2011/oct/27/strange-power-qatar/, accessed 15 
April 2012.

\63\ SFRC staff discussion, Qatar, February 2012.

\64\ Qatar: Background and U.S. Relations, 9.

\65\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Foreign Military 
Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and Other Security 
Cooperation, Historical Facts as of 30 September 2010.

\66\ SFRC staff discussions, Qatar, February 2012.

\67\ Department of Defense and the Department of State, Joint 
Report to Congress Pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act of 
1961, As Amended, and the Department of State, Foreign 
Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008: 
Foreign Military Training, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011.

\68\ SFRC staff discussion, Qatar, February 2012.

\69\ The seven Emirates are: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, 
Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. During the Trucial 
period, there existed a number of other Sheikhdoms, which were 
incorporated over time into these seven.

\70\ The three small islands of Abu Musa and Lesser and Greater 
Tunb, which are strategically located near the Strait of 
Hormuz, have been the subject of dispute since the formation of 
the UAE in 1971. The UAE has called upon Iran to resolve the 
dispute through direct negotiations or through the 
International Court of Justice, but Iran has argued that the 
Court does not have jurisdiction. See, Sultan al-Qassemi, 
``Iran Picks Awkward Time to Escalate Gulf Tensions,'' Al-
Monitor, 13 April 2012, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/
contents/articles/opinion/2012/al-monitor/iran-picks-awkward-
time-to-escal.html, accessed 22 April 2012.

\71\ After spending eight months in jail, the five were 
pardoned and released one day after being convicted of anti-
state crimes. Al Jazeera, ``UAE pardons jailed activists,'' 28 
November 2011, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/
11/20111128135953601809.html, accessed 10 April 2012.

\72\ Kenneth Katzman, The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues 
for U.S. Policy, Report RS21852 (Washington, DC: Congressional 
Research Service, 23 December 2011), 11-12.

\73\ U.S. Department of Defense, News Transcript: Media 
Availability with Secretary Panetta en Route to Bali, 
Indonesia.

\74\ The International Institute for Strategic Studies, The 
Military Balance 2011, 335.

\75\ Ibid., 333.

\76\ Despite its tactical prowess, the UAE's military is still 
developing logistics, maintenance, and support capabilities to 
sustainment its modern military force.

\77\ SFRC staff discussion, UAE, February 2012.

\78\ The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy, 
14.

\79\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Arms Sales 
Notifications, http://www.dsca.mil/pressreleases/ 36b/36b--
index.htm, accessed 22 January 2012.

\80\ Congressional Research Service, U.S. Arms Sales: 
Agreements with and Deliveries to Major Clients, 2003-2010, 3.

\81\ Department of Defense and the Department of State, Joint 
Report to Congress Pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act of 
1961, As Amended, and the Department of State, Foreign 
Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008: 
Foreign Military Training, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011.

\82\ SFRC staff discussion, UAE, February 2012.

\83\ Ibid.

\84\ United States Central Command, Eagle Resolve 2011 Begins 
in United Arab Emirates, http://www.centcom.mil/press-releases/
eagle-resolve-2011-begins-in-united-arab-emirates, accessed 15 
March 2012.

\85\ Self-governing since the 1740s, Oman maintained colonies 
in the 18th and 19th century as far afield as Zanzibar in 
present-day Tanzania and Gwadar in present-day Pakistan. A 
majority of Omanis practice a form of Islam known as Ibadism, 
distinct from both Sunni and Shi'a Islam. Ibadis trace their 
lineage to the early decades after the death of the prophet 
Mohammed.

\86\ United Nations Development Programme, ``Human Development 
Report 2010: 20th Anniversary Edition,'' http://hdr.undp.org/
en/media/HDR--2010--EN--Complete--reprint.pdf, pages 29 and 54. 
The Human Development Index is a composite measure of life 
expectancy, educational attainment and income.

\87\ The three American hikers - Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and 
Josh Fattal - were arrested on 31 July 2009 by Iranian 
officials in the border region between Iran and Iraq. Ms. 
Shourd was released on 14 September 2010, and Mr. Bauer and Mr. 
Fattal were released on 21 September 2011. In both instances, 
President Obama personally thanked Omani officials, as well as 
Swiss officials and others, for their efforts on the hikers' 
behalf. See The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 
``Statement by the President on the Release of Shane Bauer and 
Josh Fattal,'' 14 September 2010, http://www.whitehouse.gov/
the-press-office/2011/09/21/statement-president-release-shane-
bauer-and-josh-fattal; and The White House, Office of the Press 
Secretary, ``Statement by the President on the Release of Sarah 
Shourd,'' http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/
14/statement-president-release-sarah-shourd, accessed on 12 
April 2012.

\88\ Kenneth Katzman, Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy, 
Report RS21534 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 
13 January 2012), 8-9.

\89\ Ibid.

\90\ Brian Bierwith, ``Shaping the Environment: 1-94 Field 
Artillery platoon builds relationships with Omani allies ring 
combined training in a rugged landscape,'' Northwest Guardian, 
1 March 2012, http://www.nwguardian.com/2012/03/01/12375/
shaping-the-environment.html, accessed 10 March 2012.

\91\ U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget 
Justification, Foreign Operations, Annex: Regional 
Perspectives, Fiscal Year 2013.

\92\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Foreign Military 
Sales, Foreign Military Construction Sales and Other Security 
Cooperation, Historical Facts as of 30 September 2010.

\93\ Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Arms Sales 
Notifications, http://www.dsca.mil/PressReleases/36-b/36b--
index.htm, 28 February 2012.

\94\ Department of Defense and the Department of State, Joint 
Report to Congress Pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act of 
1961, As Amended, and the Department of State, Foreign 
Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008: 
Foreign Military Training, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011.

\95\ According to U.S. Energy Information Agency data, the 
United States imported 4.1 billion barrels of oil, of which 670 
million came from the Persian Gulf, including 436 million 
barrels from Saudi Arabia (10.5% of total imports), 168 million 
from Iraq (4%), 70 million from Kuwait (1.7%), and marginal 
amounts from Oman, the UAE, and Qatar. Other leading sources of 
imported crude in 2011 include: Canada, 988 million barrels 
(24%); Mexico, 440 million (10.6%); Venezuela, 345 million 
(8.3%); Nigeria, 298 million (7.1%); and Russia, 227 million 
(5.5%). See U.S. Energy Information Agency, U.S. Imports by 
Country of Origin, http://205.254.135.7/dnav/pet/ pet--move--
impcus--a2--nus--ep00--im0--mbbl--a.htm, accessed 11 April 
2012.

\96\ U.S. Energy Information Agency, Analysis Brief: World Oil 
Transit Chokepoints, 20 December 2011, http://www.eia.gov/
countries/regions-topics.cfm?fips=WOTC#hormuz, accessed 11 
April 2012.

\97\ Simon Williams and Elizabeth Martins, ``Middle East 
Economics Q1 2012: Who's at risk in 2012?'', HSBC Global 
Research, March 2012, page 3, https://www.research.hsbc.com/
midas/Res/RDV?p=pdf&key=1HRpM5uplF&n=317973.PDF, accessed 22 
May 2012.

\98\ Mamoud el-Gamal and Amy Jaffe, ``Oil, Dollars, Debt, and 
Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold,'' Cambridge University 
Press, 2010.

\99\ Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, ``Country 
Comparison: Unemployment Rate,'' 2012, https://www.cia.gov/
library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/
2129rank.html, accessed 22 May 2012. Guillaume Desjardins, 
``UAE Unemployment Is High, but Not for Lack of Jobs,'' 
cnbc.com, 27 September 2011, http://www.cnbc.com/id/44690025/
UAE--Unemployment--Is--High--but--Not--for--Lack--of--Jobs/
print/1/displaymode/1098/, accessed 22 May 2012.

\100\ Richard Shediac and Hatem Samman, ``Meeting the 
Employment Challenge in the GCC: The Need for a Holistic 
Strategy,'' Booz and Co., June 2010, page 3, http://
www.booz.com/media/uploads/Meeting--the--Employment--
Challenge--in--the--GCC.pdf, accessed 22 May 2012.

\101\ Ibid., page 7.

\102\ SFRC staff discussion, GCC, February 2012.

\103\ Jonathan Sheikh-Miller, ``Oil share dips in Dubai GDP,'' 
AMEInfo.com, 9 June 2007, http://www.ameinfo.com/cgi-bin/cms/
page.cgi?page=print;link=122863, accessed 22 May 2012.

\104\ United Nations Development Programme, ``Human Development 
Report 2010: 20th Anniversary Edition,'' http://hdr.undp.org/
en/media/HDR--2010--EN--Complete--reprint.pdf, pages 29 and 54. 
The Human Development Index is a composite measure of life 
expectancy, educational attainment and income.

\105\ Ambassador Ronald Kirk, 2012 Trade Policy Agenda and 2011 
Annual Report, United States Trade Representation, March 2012, 
http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/reports-and-
publications/2012-0, page 137-138, accessed 22 May 2012.

\106\ Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, First Ministerial Meeting 
of GCC-U.S. Strategic Cooperation Forum Concludes, 1 April 
2012, http://www.saudiembassy.net/latest--news/
news04011202.aspx, accessed 22 April 2012.

\107\ U.S. Department of Defense, Unclassified Report on 
Military Power of Iran, April 2010, submitted pursuant to 
Section 1245 of FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 
111-84).

\108\ In the case of arms sales to most states, the President 
must notify Congress of an agreement to sell major defense 
equipment of $14 million or more, defense articles or services 
for $50 million or more, or any design and construction 
services for $200 million or more. Congress must also be 
notified before the issuance of any export license for major 
defense articles in excess of $14 million or other defense 
articles or services in excess of $50 million. After receiving 
such notification, Congress has 30 days to adopt a resolution 
of disapproval objecting to the sale or the notification is 
considered approved.

\109\ For additional information on U.S. security assistance, 
see http://www.dsca.mil/pubs/29th%20Gbookv2.pdf

\110\ The U.S. government designates certain sensitive military 
equipment as `Foreign Military Sale (FMS) only,' thereby 
precluding its purchase through Direct Commercial Sale (DCS). 
If a defense item is available through both FMS and DCS, it is 
up to the recipient nation to determine which procurement route 
they prefer. The FMS program requires administrative fees that 
some countries view as burdensome. On the other hand, FMS sales 
are brokered as part of a more bounded process that some states 
favor to direct negotiations with U.S. contractors. FMS sales 
also carry the weight and security of the U.S. government 
behind them - a facet that some recipient countries find 
comforting.

\111\ Although the U.S. State Department maintains a database 
of defense licenses granted to foreign recipients, the database 
does not separate those licenses from arms transfers authorized 
for U.S. entities in those countries. Therefore, this report 
does not capture the exact amount of defense articles and 
equipment transferred to GCC States through DCS. See U.S. 
Department of State, Report by the Department of State Pursuant 
to Section 655 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, As 
Amended - Direct Commercial Sales Authorizations for Fiscal 
Year 2010, Washington, DC, http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/reports/
documents/rpt655--FY10.pdf, accessed 10 January 2012.

\112\ The Arms Export Control Act explicitly states that no 
defense articles or services shall be sold or leased to foreign 
recipients unless ``the President finds that the furnishing of 
defense articles and defense services to such a country or 
international organization will strengthen the security of the 
United States and promote world peace.'' See Eligibility for 
Defense Services or Defense Articles, U.S. Code 22 (1976), 
Sec. 2753.

\113\ Roy Gutman, ``As U.S. departs Iraq, it leaves two allies 
that aren't speaking,'' McClatchy Newspapers, 18 December 2011, 
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/12/18/v-print/133219/as-us-
departs-iraq-it-leaves-behind.html. Accessed April 15, 2012.

\114\ SFRC discussions, Baghdad, February 2012; Washington, 
April 2012.