The military component of the Gulf States

(To Denise Serangelo)

Money can make so much happiness, but can they also lead a military coalition? For several days now we have witnessed the demonstration of strength of the Saudi petromonarchy in Yemen and someone is beginning to wonder if this coalition is really up to the money it spends.

The defense of a country is not based only on the armaments it possesses or on the money it is willing to invest, most of the work is done by soldiers and geopolitical strategies adopted internationally.

We have many indiscretions of the Saudi defense but few demonstrations of a real military force capable of crowning it leader at the head of one of the richest regions in the world.

Last year Saudi Arabia literally ousted the top importer scepter for the armaments sector to India and the trend for the two-year 2014-2015 does not seem to change much. The investments of the Monarchy for new military technologies will increase by 2-3 percentage points compared to last year's estimated expenditure of 60 billions of dollars, his colleagues from the Gulf Cooperation Council stand below these values ​​but not by much .

The race to rearm the region is justified - if we want to say - by the proliferation of Iranian nuclear (which must be remembered belongs to the Shiite Muslims) in recent years, the fear that Ayatollah Khamenei wants and can use weapons of mass destruction it fuels strong tensions and pushes neighboring countries to run for cover.

Riyadh, who has always condemned the Iranian conduct on nuclear power, seems to work on several fronts and while on the one hand fears for his safety on the other, he runs hastily to buy ballistic missiles from the Chinese and the Pakistanis.

Last 29 April at its military parade, Saudi Arabia made outing by showing for the first time its strategic deterrent consisting of Chinese Dong Feng 3 ballistic missiles that have the ability to ship atomic and conventional warheads from 2 tons. The range of action would be perfectly in line with the primary extranational objectives: Israel and Iran.

Almost certainly these missiles will never be used for an all-round war with sworn enemies, but it has the flavor of an alternative way to emphasize the regional leadership - never really conquered - undermined in recent years by the support that the government of Quacota has given to group of "Muslim Brothers".

Well-informed sources claim that the Saudis may not have limited themselves to buying missiles from the Chinese, but have financed the nuclear progress in Pakistan; the latter desirous of not granting any strategic advantage to neighboring India.

In the event of a national security attack, Pakistan would be ready to take off a Saudi C-130 with nuclear warheads to embark on Chinese 3 DFs.

As we have previously said, the arms race of the Gulf countries is linked to regional trends but the decisions for the overseas politics of the United States are not to be underestimated. With the Obama administration, in fact, the mainstream of the foreign policy has changed to stars and stripes - with unspoken excuses in the air like few others have seen in history - shifting the spotlight on the dramas of "home America" ​​rather than sending troops around the world. A good or a bad thing is not for us to judge but surely the hesitant American foreign policy puts on alert the entire region that loses an important strategic military support.

Since the 1984 the Gulf Cooperation Council had established a small war unit called Peninsula Shield Force consisting of almost 10.000 units from all participating countries.

This mini-brigade, however, has revealed a total disaster, on at least two occasions demonstrated it openly: the first in the 1990 when he could not stop the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein and 2011 in Bahrain who asked for help for sedate an internal revolt of low intensity without any result.

The peninsula shield force still exists today but it is a random entity whose money could be allocated for a modernization of the regular army training plans, perhaps in collaboration with some European army.

Seen and considered the failure of a joint militia and the withdrawal of US military support, Saudi Arabia has been the spokesperson of a project that is much discussing: the creation of a real Union of Gulf States, a sort of United States of Arabia.

This mammoth project would put the political legitimacy - with the creation of a foreign ministry of the United Arab States - to create a regional army that would be equal only to the concept of "European Army" that has been discussed for decades in the old continent.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former head of Saudi services and former ambassador to Britain and the United States, said: "We must go beyond our differences and create a unified war force with a clear chain of command. The security of a people is everyone's, the stability or instability of a country involves every member of the Council ".

Just yesterday - Sunday 29 March - the Arab countries (22 nations in total) gathered in Sharm el Sheikh to discuss the delicate geopolitical situation in the region.

Central issues were the military operation in Yemen and concerns about a possible IS advance in the Gulf area. The leaders of the Sunni countries have announced the establishment of a joint military apparatus which should count about 40 thousand soldiers, air and naval units, with a command in Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

The difficulties faced for several years now will have to be condensed in just a few months for the Army of the future United States of Arabia to see the light.

The Arab League summit has also decided to continue air raids in Yemen but it is still unclear for what purpose, we know very well that the rebels will not withdraw or lay down their weapons as intended.

It has been rumored a plausible invasion of land by joint forces of the various countries but there is still a clear and far-sighted strategy for a tenacious enemy who enjoys a great popular support.

What has been said so far does not reassure the military future of the region.

Unsupervised strategies based on cold war concepts make any kind of intervention beyond national borders very incisive.

Past political fears and resentments will prevent the Arab League from finding a valid meeting point on foreign policy capable of leading a future multinational army.

The greater perplexities derive from the advance of the IS and the invisible politics of the United States and Europe, their inaction could allow the Sunni countries to take for the first time the merit of a winning common strategy.

The resources deployed for Yemen could easily be used against the Islamic State but it was preferred to look at selfish national interests rather than a future enemy who will not knock at the door but will knock them down with innate ferocity.

The "enemies" of the Gulf Cooperation Council are organized, powerful and well guided, and therefore the time has come to understand if money only buy happiness or even a winning military strategy.

Time will tell!