Lecture: The Strategic Dimensions of the Joint Arab Military Force Project

Wednesday 05 August 2015

In a lecture titled "Strategic Dimensions of the Joint Arab Military Force Project" at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) on Wednesday, retired Maj. Gen. Dr. Saleh Al Mayteh said that this success can be attributed to the popular support for the campaign to ensure a legitimate government in Yemen. He said that the joint Arab military force project brings a strengthens cooperation in terms of strategy and the deployment of resources. Dr. Al Mayteh, who attained the rank of major general during his service in the Jordanian Armed Forces, is a faculty member at the UAE National Defence College. “The GCC security alliance has presented itself as a new system in the Arab world,” he said. Dr. Al Mayteh emphasised that a joint Arab military force could build on the experience of the Peninsula Shield Forces and Operation Decisive Storm, which later became Operation Restoring Hope. "This he said, should be seen in the context of forming a strong Arab military alliance, or an “Arab Nato”, in light of the shifting landscape in the Middle East". “The current period of instability in the region can be tracked back to the Iran-Iraq war as we are still struggling with the ramifications of that,” Dr. Al Mayteh said. On the recent nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 countries, he said that Iran has energy reserves that are vital for Europe. “There is a trade potentialy worths US$ 450 billion (Dh1.65 trillion), and alliances are being built to fight against ISIS. Ultimately, it is about geopolitics and control over natural resources,” he said, adding that the concept of a joint Arab military force is not new. Dr. Al Mayteh said that efforts to increase military cooperation among Arab countries have historically faced a number of obstacles in relation to compatibility, including contrasting political systems and outlooks, the diversity of threats faced and having to contend with different military doctrines and strategies. "Before any such alliance becomes a reality, he said, Arab countries will have to review earlier defense experiments that have sought to resolve armed conflicts in the region". He also said that security should be seen in a larger context, to include water, food and energy resources.