Future of an Alliance
Fragmentation and proxy wars among the GCC members pose a threat to the future of the regional alliance.
During the 33 years of its existence, the Gulf Cooperation Council comprising the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, the State of Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar and the State of Kuwait – has achieved many objectives for which it was established. There have been many challenges concerning security issues, but the GCC is striving hard to remain relevant and vibrant in the ever-changing regional and international scenario. The security situation in the Gulf region, especially after 9/11 and Arab Spring, poses a major challenge to the GCC, both internally and externally. While dealing with these problems, the GCC countries have forged a successful economic union, like the European Union.
The GCC countries hold a key area for the international economy generally and for western countries specifically as they supply more than one-third of the world's oil. The creation of the GCC in 1981 was an attempt to balance power in the face of threats at that time from both Iraq and Iran. Analysts are of the view that despite having the backing of the United States and the west, the GCC countries could not achieve this objective. However, exploiting the situation, the western powers, mainly the U.S., managed to secure military bases in some GCC countries. This irked many groups inside the member states and elsewhere in the Muslim world, giving birth to armed resistance in some. The groups soon spread to countries where struggles against American and western occupation was going on, notably in Afghanistan.