Tehran Times – Professor of political science says the “Arab world” today is a patchwork of competing countries and forming an enduring alliance among the Arab states of the Persian Gulf is an illusory idea concocted by the U.S.
The United States is quietly pushing ahead with a bid to create a new security and political alliance with six Persian Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan in part to counter Iran’s expansion in the region.
The White House wants to see deeper cooperation between the countries on missile defense, military training, counterterrorism, and other issues such as strengthening regional economic and diplomatic ties.
To know more about the issue we reached out to Professor Entessar, who is the Chair of Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at the University of South Alabama.
Here is the full text of our interview with him:
Q: Why is the U.S. trying to form such an alliance?
A: The United States is manically obsessed with Iran and is throwing darts in different directions with the hope of undermining Iran and its national security. We have to see the idea of forming a broad anti-Iran alliance against Tehran in the context of Washington’s overall policy in the Persian Gulf and beyond.
Q: Considering the differences among these Persian Gulf Arab states, to what extent you think these states will be able to form such an alliance?
A: The Arab world, in general, and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, in particular, are more fractious today than they have been in decades. What used to be called the “Arab consensus” does not exist today. What is euphemistically referred to as the “Arab world” today is a patchwork of competing countries. Forming an enduring alliance among the Arab states of the Persian Gulf is an illusory idea concocted by the West, especially the United States.
Q: Despite all differences, if such an alliance be formed, will it be able to materialize its goals while even a bigger alliance lead by Saudi Arabia in Yemen has not been able to reach its goals after years of fighting?
A: As I alluded to in my previous answers, the experience of forming alliances among Arab states in recent decades has been marked by failure. This has been especially true in the case of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. However, as Karl Marx has stated: “History repeats itself, the first as tragedy, then as farce.”
Q: What is the best security architecture for the Persian Gulf? Is it possible to provide the security of the region without the presence of all states?
A: The best security architecture for the Persian Gulf is one that is structured on regional arrangements that guarantee the security and national integrity of all states. Functioning security arrangements cannot be seen as zero-sum games in which the goal is to eliminate or sideline one state. In the Persian Gulf, security arrangements that have been formed or talked about in the past 40 years have had one thing in common: containing and/or damaging Iran’s national interests. That is why such arrangements have been failures.