Date: November 3, 2022
In its mission to spread knowledge and awareness of strategic Arabian Gulf-related issues, the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat) published two new books, “Nato and the Arabian Gulf Countries: An Analysis of the Fifteen Year Strategic Partnership”, and “Maritime Security of the Arabian Gulf States – Analysis of Current Threats, Confrontation Mechanisms, and Future Challenges”, written by Dr. Ashraf Mohammed Keshk, Director of the Strategic and International Studies Program at Derasat’s Directorate of Studies and Research.
Four chapters comprise the first book. the first chapter analyzes the foundation and nature of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949, its framework and development of its roles. The second chapter examines the 2004 Istanbul Initiative’s six areas of security and defense cooperation between NATO and four Gulf States, one of which is the Kingdom of Bahrain. The third chapter discusses NATO’s role towards regional security threats facing Arabian Gulf States. The fourth and final chapter presents the challenges facing further NATO-GCC cooperation.
The book offers several strategic deductions, one of which is the progress of the Istanbul Initiative being tied to circumstances of the wider Middle East, despite the initiative having accounted for the Arabian Gulf States’ particular circumstances and needs.
The second book discusses major naval security threats facing Arabian Gulf States over the course of four chapters. The first chapter discusses the concept and dimensions of naval security, while specifying the legal status of the straits of Hormuz and Bab-al-Mandab. It provides a historical and analytical glimpse of the oil tanker war witnessed by the Arabian Gulf region during the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s. The second chapter examines naval security threats, as revealed in impact and dimension by attacks on oil tankers in the past few years, especially those involving Iranian threats to block the Strait of Hormuz or obstruct maritime activity within the area, besides the risks of piracy, naval terrorism, and smuggling.
The Arabian Gulf States managed to develop their individual and pan-GCC naval capabilities considering these threats, besides establishing and joining other regional mechanisms, as well as international alliances and partnerships aiming to uphold naval and maritime security in this globally strategic region. The book also aims to raise a pivotal case involving the close relation between facing naval security threats and achieving balance among regional powers, and in turn the nature of GCC and international roles in countering future naval security threats.
Both publications are products of the author’s extensive experience in Arabian Gulf studies for more than 25 years and are part of Derasat Center’s support for its researchers to publish research through reputed publishing houses, especially research involving strategic issues. Derasat officials and Dr. Keshk’s colleagues congratulated him on this milestone, which saw academic reviews from several experts in NATO- and naval-related strategic studies, prior to being published in their original English versions by acclaimed global publishers Springer.