This study aims to analyze the impact of Arab Revolution on the Arabian Gulf security by applying on Yemeni Revolution. This can be achieved by analyzing the threat of Arab Spring Revolutions to the national security of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries after the breakout of demonstrations and protests in some of the member states. In addition to its analysis of threat of the Regional Security of the Gulf as a result of Yemeni Revolution and Civil War and Iranian intervention to support Houthis within light of regional anarchy and security competition according to the Neorealism and how the GCC Countries face such threats.
The study depended on the historical methodology to track the developments of some events related to the Gulf Security and crisis in Yemen. Moreover, it used the analytical approach to analyze the impact of Arab Revolutions and Yemeni Civil War on the Arab Gulf Security. In addition, it depended on the realistic approach to explain the security state at the national and regional level of the Arab Gulf countries within light of regional anarchy, security competition and Iranian support to Houthis “Non-State Actors” (Kenneth Waltz), as well as the offensive realism (John Mearsheimer).
The Arab Revolutions had an effect on the national security of GCC countries according to the Neorealism due to the breakout of demonstrations and protests in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Sultanate of Oman which reached to the degree of threatening the existence of the state as in Bahrain. The Gulf Regional Security is influenced by Revolution and Civil War in Yemen as a result of that Iranian support to Houthis within light of security competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia, leading to the threat of the Arabian Gulf Security as Yemen is the southern gate to the GCC Countries and having joint borders with Saudi Arabia and Sultanate of Oman. Moreover, the GCC countries dealt with that threat individually, such as, performing internal reforms, or collectively through using military force, such as Bahrain and Yemen (Offensive Realism).
This study is an introduction to explain the Arab Spring Revolutions, conflict in Yemen and its threat to the Arab Gulf Security according to the Neorealism based on that the GCC countries sought to keep its existence and sovereignty in confrontation to the demonstrations and internal protests and to keep the regional security in confrontation to the threats of neighboring countries such as the Civil War in Yemen and the Iranian Support to Houthis in light of the regional anarchy.
Al-Otaibi, S. (2019), "The impact of Arab Revolution on the security of the Arabian Gulf: The Yemeni Revolution as a model", Review of Economics and Political Science, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/REPS-02-2019-0022Download as .RIS
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Copyright © 2019, Saleh Zaid Al-Otaibi.
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The Gulf region has all the essential ingredients that made it the focus of attention of the great powers. It is located on the borders between the two Arab and Persian civilization, and between the Islamic civilization and Indian, Chinese and Western civilizations. Besides its natural resources and a privileged location, it has economic, political, military importance (AL-Ajmi, 2015, p. 460). The Geo-Political and Geo-Strategic importance of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has increased after discovering oil. The Gulf region has become a conflict area among all the world powers as it contains more than two- thirds of the world’s oil reserves (Ismail, 2014, p. 8).
The period of late 2010 and the beginning of 2011 has witnessed many Revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Syria and has been known as “Arab Spring” which has led to many changes in Arab regimes. These Revolutions and protesting reached the same GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman). Yemen has also witnessed numerous protests against the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh; the crisis in Yemen has worsened when Saleh used violence against demonstrators. After the intervention of the Gulf Countries in the initiative to remove Saleh; a Civil War has broken out between Saleh who was allied with the Houthis and the Yemeni regime led by President Hadi. All these events in turn constituted a threat to the security of the Arabian Gulf at the national and regional levels. Therefore, this study aimed to analyze the impact of Arab Revolutions and Civil War in Yemen on the security of the Arabian Gulf in light of Neorealism.
1.1 Literature review
Buzan (1991) mentioned that the majority of States define their security relations from regional perspectives and not International one, even if it dealt with international issues, they tend to see those issues from a regional perspective. Buzan (1991) suggested a systematic approach for the analysis of international political issues; especially the security analysis within the territory, he concerned with the issue of security in the Neorealists whose analysis level didn’t concentrate on what is happening within the state only “National Security”; but on what is happening outside the state where anarchy, security competition and the security dilemma “international and regional security”.
Meanwhile Miller (2007) asserted the inefficiency of the Classical realism theory to assimilate the regional influences on international security; which lead to the appearance of Neorealism to investigate the impact of local development (inside the state) on international and regional security, as well as the role of non-state actors in fueling regional conflicts and their impact on the global security system. In the same context, Christensen and Snyder (1993) referred that Neorealists saw that countries have a pivotal role in analyzing conflict and war relations as a source of security, and at the same time a source of threat. Baylis (2001) added that the principle of sovereignty will require States to develop military and offensive capabilities to defend themselves and expand their power, making them dangerous to each other, while Mearsheimer (2003) focused on the States’ relative distrust toward the intention of other states towards its security and interests; this makes them always in fear of each other.
On the other hand, Hilal (2017) assured that conflicts and internal wars in Syria and Yemen pose a threat to the regional security of the Gulf. Alawi (2017) noted that the continuation of the internal conflict in Yemen and the Houthis' control over many areas could create a new entity that threatens the security of the Arabian Gulf. Abdullah (2012) discussed the implications of the Arab Spring on the GCC countries and the threat to their security.
Al-Mansour (2009) also discussed the threat of the Arab Gulf security after the US occupation of Iraq. Al-Essawi (2005) pointed out that the conflict of interests of the regional and international powers concerned with Gulf security has become a threat to the security of the Gulf. Al-Ajami (2006) added the impact of international variables on the security of the Gulf region. Potter and Sick (2002) discussed issues related to the security of the Arabian Gulf from several axes: the issue of foreign military presence, cultural, societal and economic factors, as well as border problems. At the same time, Knights (2006) discussed the problems of Gulf security with a more comprehensive view, by proposing to enhance the security of the region by reducing dependence on the US military presence on the one hand, and strengthening mechanisms of regional security cooperation on the other.
The current study is distinguished from previous studies in its analysis of the Arab Spring Revolutions and the resulting changes, especially the Revolution in Yemen and the ensuing internal conflict and Civil War; its impact on the security of the Arabian Gulf and its threat, and how the GCC countries are confronting that threat.
1.2 Research problem
The issue of Gulf security is one of the most important challenges facing the GCC countries, especially in light of their understanding of the geopolitical gap with other regional parties (Iran and Iraq). The Gulf countries – with the outbreak of the Arab Spring Revolutions – felt that the security of the region was under threat; especially after protesting have been moved into the GCC Countries; especially the massive protests in Bahrain, which led to the use of Peninsula Shield Force and other protests in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that threatened their national security, besides the regional security threats to the Arabian Gulf as a result of the Yemeni Revolution and the ensuing conflicts and Civil War, it moved to the southwestern border of Saudi Arabia.
In view of the threats to the national security of the GCC Countries as a result of internal protest movements; as well as threats to regional security caused by the Revolution in Yemen and its implications and Iranian intervention; the study examined the threat posed by these Revolutions and protests against the security of the Arab Gulf. The problem of research consisted of the following main question:
What is the impact of the Arab Spring Revolutions and the Civil War in Yemen on the security of the GCC countries?
1.3 The research questions
How can the security of the Arabian Gulf be explained in light of the theory of Neorealism?
To what extent have the Arab Spring Revolutions affected the national security of the GCC countries?
How did the failure to deal with the Yemeni Revolution result in conflict and Civil War in Yemen?
What is the impact of the Yemeni Revolution and its implications for the regional security of the Gulf region?
How did the GCC countries face the threat of Revolutions to their national and regional security?
2. The theoretical framework
The theoretical framework deals first with the hypotheses of Neorealism theory, and its interpretation of security in light of the security competition and anarchy resulting from the absence of the supreme authority governing the States acting. Second: the threat of Arab Revolutions and the Civil War in Yemen to the security of the Arabian Gulf according to Neorealism. Third: the GCC Countries confronting threats to their security in accordance with Neorealism.
2.1 Neorealism theory and security
The Classical Realism theory based on power and national interest dominated international relations field in the post-Second World War era; with the publication of the book “Politics among Nations” by Hans Morgenthau (Vasquez, 1988, p. 23) .This theory assumed that the state was the only rational actor in international relations, and that the international politics is characterized by anarchy; this has led the whole countries individually to possess the force to protect their national security and maintain their survival (Faraj, 2007, pp. 241-242). Therefore, national security is considered one of the most important goals of the state to preserve its survival and sovereignty (Hussein, 2003, p. 93).
Kenneth Waltz has laid the foundations for Neorealism, which provided a different interpretation of power, and transferred the unit of analysis from states to regime and the structure of this regime. Where the state became a major actor not a sole actor in the international relations; as a result of the emergence of non-state actors. It also assumed the political Anarchy of the international system. This means the absence of higher authority dominates States “Regional and International chaos” (Waltz, 1986, p. 90). Thus, the state's conduct in the midst of this anarchy focuses on security and ensuring survival and protecting the national interest. States also looked to each other as being potential enemies and threatening each other's security leading to mistrust and security dilemma (Lamy, 2001, p. 186).
The Neorealism with respect to security has included two theories; they are Defense Realism and Offence Realism. The two theories focused on the ways in which the regime affects States’ political conduct. Robert Jervis, George Quester, Stephen Walt and Jack Snyder are supporters of Defensive Realism. They argued that the probability of war was higher when States could conquer each other. But the easier the defense, the more security, the less expansion motivations, the higher cooperation prospects. Where State can gain the means of defending itself without threatening others, thereby the effects of international anarchy reduces (Faraj, 2007, p. 385). Mearsheimer and Eric Laps are supporters of Offence Realism; they argued that the case of the international anarchy encourages all States to maximize their relative power. Mearsheimer suggests that States leaders have to look for security policies that weaken the capabilities of their enemies while increasing their own power (Faraj, 2007, p. 386).
2.2 The threat of Arab Revolutions and Civil War in Yemen on the Gulf security based on the neorealism
The study relied in the interpretation of the Arab Gulf security on the Neorealism as it is considered the best theoretical approaches and the most appropriate to interpret the conduct and acts of the GCC countries after the break out of Arab Spring Revolutions. The realism theory care for the security case and distinguished between two types of security; the first is the national security through what is called the “high Policy”, that is the power of the State or government in achieving its internal security to maintain its existence and sovereignty (Buzan, 1995, pp. 94-96). This includes the non-state actors (such as the Shiite Sect) who threaten security inside the State (Al-Rashid, 2012, p. 130); the second is the regional and international security. In the context of regional security, Neorealism confirmed that regional anarchy and security competition, and regional anarchy means the presence of a State of sovereignty without the presence of a higher power that dictates its decisions (Waltz, 1993, p. 123). As for the Arab Gulf security, it was found that the State of Iran which has no power over it has threatened the Arab Gulf security. It is in the interest of Iran that Yemen lives instability and it is in the interest of Iran to create a new conflict areas for the Gulf States by stirring sectarian conflicts inside those States (Al-Rashid, 2012, p. 130).Security competition as per the Neorealism means the engagement of the States in a competition to gain power to defend their national security. In the attempt of gaining power, the State does not concentrate on traditional means in gaining power, but it could resort as well to weaken the opponents or disseminate tension areas that would help it to remain aside while the competing State are involved in resolving the conflict that lie within its security field (Mearsheimer, 2003, p. 5). This applies on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and other States with regards the Yemeni conflict of sectarian dimensions (Al-Rashid, 2012, p. 131).
Although the Revolution and Civil War in Syrian, the sectarian conflict in Iraq and the Civil War in Yemen threaten the security of the GCC Countries, the present study will focus on demonstrations and protests that break out in the GCC Countries and the Revolution and war in Yemen and their impact on the national and regional security of those States to answer the questions of the study.
2.2.1 The threat of Arab Revolutions to the national security of Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Considering the historical and philosophical origins of the concept of Revolution, it is revealed that they mean the change of regimes and the radical changes in the institutional Structures of societies (Abbas, 2015, p. 11) as well as the sudden change in the political and social conditions by the people (Al-Helo, 2011, p. 803). Therefore, the present study will deal with the threat of the Arab Revolutions for the national security of Gulf Countries in accordance with the Neorealism and in particular the demonstrations and protest that broke out in some of those Countries and threatened their existence and sovereignty and in particular through the use of non-state actors (Shiite Sectarian supported by Iran) as in the case of Bahrain.
188.8.131.52 Arab spring Revolutions.
Arab Spring Revolutions are the Revolutions and peaceful protest movements that broke out in some of the Arab countries in the late of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 where these Revolutions demanded toppling the ruling regimes, effecting constitutional and legislative changes, and achieving equality, freedom and social justice. The Revolutions succeeded in toppling four regimes. After the Tunisian Revolution had ousted President Zein Al Abedin Bin Ali, the Egyptian January 25 Revolution succeeded in toppling Mubarak regime. Then the Libyan February 17 Revolution succeeded in killing Qazafi and toppling his regime. The Yemeni Revolution as well compelled Ali Abdallah Saleh to abdicate (Hassan, 2017, pp. 104-109). These Revolutions broke out for political reasons represented in the weakness of the Arab regimes, political tyranny, reluctant of the youth to participate in the political activities as well as economic and social reasons such as overpopulation, the increase in unemployment and poverty rates in addition to the spread of administrative corruption (Al-Arabi, 2013, pp. 77-79).
184.108.40.206 The threat of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries national security.
According to the Neorealism, States attempts to maintain its security to maintain their survival and sovereignty. Consequently, if anything threatens its internal security, the States must encounter that threat as it impacts the survival and sovereignty of the State itself. When demonstrations and protests broke out in some of GCC States, they threatened the national security of those States as in the protest movements in Bahrain on February 14, 2011 by a Shiite Sect with the supporting of Iran (Khalifa, 2012, p. 49), the demonstrations in Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman and Kuwait (Hassan, 2017, p. 109) which expressed the desire of the peoples of those States for political reform (Idris, 2011, p. 8) and the establishment of an constitutional monarchy regime able to incubate the parties and oppositions (Al-Arabi, 2013, p. 85).
The protests that took place in Bahrain by the pro-Iran Shiite were not riot works but an attempt from Iran to extend its influence into the Arab Gulf Countries within the regional anarchy and security competition. Iran aimed at proving to the world that it is still a super power in the area; second, achieving its expansion project for the establishment of the Persian Empire, third, it might obtain a winning card in stirring problems with the GCC Countries and intervening in the internal affairs of those Countries that it would use whenever required to mitigate the pressures the United States and NATO States place on it because of its nuclear project (Al-Amirani, 2012, p. 93).
GCC Countries national security was exposed to a great threat by Iran’s attempt to ignite the fuse of sectarian and doctrinal sedition in the GCC Countries or the neighboring Countries. For this reason, the stand of the KSA of the Iranian threat represented in Bahrain, Yemen and the Saudi Eastern Province was clear. Iran, from its side, did not stop announcing its support the aspiration of the Arab peoples for freedom and democratic ruling.
2.2.2 The threat of the Yemeni Civil War on the national security of Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
The ruling in Yemen remained for centuries the production of two traditional institutions; the religious institution and the tribal institution. Due to the activity of the opposition movement since 1957 and the call for the establishment of a republic system, the Emami regime was toppled during the Revolution of September 26, 1992 (Al-Mutawakil, 2012, p. 152). With the developments in the events, the Unity State was established in 1990. After unification in 1994, the conflict broke out between supporters of the Socialist Party and supporters of General People’s Congress Party (Alawi, 2017, p. 39). The conflict ended in a war between them that resulted in the domination of Ali Abdullah Saleh. The situation changed after the outbreak of the Yemeni Revolution 2011 (Al-Mutawakil, 2012, p. 157).The study, therefore, will deal with the threat of the Revolution and Civil War in Yemen to GCC Countries in accordance with the Neorealism in particular through the use of the non-state actors (the Houthis supported by Iran) in light of the regional anarchy and security competition.
220.127.116.11 Yemeni Revolution and the Civil War.
The Yemeni Revolution goes back to political reasons represented in the ideological conflict between the Socialist Party and General People’s Congress Party that resulted in Saleh’s domination of power (Al-Maqtari, 2010, p. 90) and the consecration of the one party policy, expelling multiplicity, the peaceful transfer of power, following the marginalization policy, exclusion of opposition and the consecration of the tribal State instead of State tribal (Mohammed, 2015, pp. 3-4). whereas the economic and social reasons were represented in unemployment that reached the rate 50 per cent (Abu Fatim, 2011, p. 146) in addition to poverty, lack of food security, the increase of internal and external debt and the increase of inflation rates (Mohammed, 2015, p. 4).
The Yemeni Youth Revolution broke out with students demonstrations on 11th February 2010 from Sana’a University that called for the toppling of Saleh regime. Some tribes headed to the sit-in squares and areas to call for changing the regime, freedom and the civil State. The Houthis in the North joined the protests movement and called for the toppling of Saleh regime and the liberation of Yemen from domination and injustice (Mohammed, 2015, p. 7). The Southern mobility supported the youth Revolution and gave up the idea of separation and the formation of the Yemen Southern State to support the Yemeni unity (Al-Saqqaf, 2012, p. 5). On February 20, opposition party pact supported the protested youth (Ahmadi, 2012, p. 150).
In spite of the continuity of the peaceful feature of demonstration in Yemen, armed clashes took place in May 2011 between pro-Saleh troops and opposition fighters (Sana’a Battle 2011). The clashes escalated to a level of non-international armed conflict where many Yemenis were killed. The defection of a great number of army leaders, ambassadors, diplomats and parliament deputies from Saleh and their joining the popular Revolution in the change square aggravated the internal conflict. Moreover, the Yemeni tribes gave up supporting President Saleh and many of tribes joined the popular Revolution (Al-Asraj, 2015, p. 164).
The role of the Houthis, one of the non-state actors, was active in the Yemeni internal conflict to threaten the survival of the State and its sovereignty according to the Neorealism. The Houthis movement is a Shiite Zaidi organization established in 1991 to recover the Imama (Sharp, 2019, p. 1). Under Saleh’s regime, Yemen experienced six wars with the Houthis as being the armed wing of the Imama regime project, the first of which was in 2004 and the last was in 2010 (Ahamadi, 2012, p. 145).
The Civil War in Yemen started after the stepping down of Saleh from the rule following a gulf initiative, where the Houthis allied with Saleh in 2014, turned against the Yemeni legitimacy swept the Capital Sana’a on September 21, 2014 and controlling additional land (Hazem, 2017, p. 64). Negotiations were held with the Houthis Group Leader and the “Peace and National Partnership Agreement” was signed by the blessing of President Hadi and the United Nation convoy. The agreement was signed by all national power the same day of sweeping Sana’a. When President Hadi refused some of the Houthis’ demands, the Houthis imposed a siege against him and the government (Al-Asraj, 2015, p. 165). The Civil War remained blazed even after the death of Saleh at the hands of the Houthis.
18.104.22.168 The threat of Gulf Cooperation Council countries regional security.
According to the Neorealism, the Gulf regional system is divided in terms of the balance of power into two camps; the camp of powerful States (Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia), and the camp of weak States (Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman). It is noted that there is a vast difference between the two camps in all the forms of potentials and capabilities distribution (geographic, military and economic). Such imbalance structure in the balance of power and in light of the regional anarchy after the break out of Arab Spring Revolutions resulted in the presence of small States against powerful States, a matter that created a state of “security dilemma” in the Gulf due to the pursuit of the powerful States (such as Iran and Iraq) to secure its security and independence at the account of small States (such as Bahrain) that attempted to secure protection through alliances and pacts with other powers. This in turn resulted in the continuity of the tension states in the Gulf Area (Abu Zeid, 2015, p. 19).
As a result of security competition and doubt of GCC Countries of Iran’s intention of aggression against them, there appeared what is called “security militarization”; by using the military force to achieve the security of the Gulf and eliminating the threats. The period (2011-2015) witnessed the increase reliance of GCC Countries – with the exception of the Sultanate of Oman – on building the military force, military expenditure as well as arm purchase concluded deals increased (Hilal, 2017, p. 17).
Considering the national security threat in Yemen in light of the Neorealism, the first objective of the Yemeni government after the stepping-down of Saleh was represented in the struggling for survival and maintain the State in light of the civil war between pro-Iran Houthis and the Hadi regime, in particular after the Houthis sweeping Sana’a, controlling the neighboring lands, the move of the rebels to the Saudi borders and their declaration to occupy some of the Saudi border cities (Hazem, 2017, p. 75). This anarchy led to the intervention of Iran in the Yemeni affairs through supporting, training and providing the Houthis troops with arms and equipment, a matter that increase the blaze of the long term civil and sectarian war and created a source of threat to the Arab Gulf Countries from the southern part (Abu Zeid, 2015, p. 24). The objective of the GCC Countries, in turn, was represented in the support of the Yemeni regime to maintain its survival. the survival of Yemen would prevent turning Yemen into an active field for the Iranian influence (Al-Rashid, 2012, p. 132) as the control of the pro-Iran Houthis armed group would allow it to lead a more aggressive approach in Yemen. Should the crisis in Yemen reached the waterways, the problem would be deeper. This was clearly manifested in the Houthis targeting the ships in the Red Sea in October 2016 (Hazem, 2017, p. 76).
2.3 Gulf Cooperation Council countries encountering their national and regional threats according to the neorealism
The GCC was established in 1981 to include 6 Countries in the pursuit of achieving coordination, integration and interdependence among those Countries and to support a regional security system by achieving interrelation between their national security and economic integration. (Al-Asraj, 2015, p.169). In Riyadh Summit held on September 21, 1982, the Council of Ministers recommended enhancing the military cooperation among the member States (Al-Hassan et al., 2007, p. 28). The most important achievement of military cooperation lied in the establishment of “Peninsula Shield Force” on October 10, 1982 to protect the security and stability of the Council States and the signing of the Joint Defense Agreement in Manama in December 2000 which stipulated that the GCC shall collectively abort any aggression on any Country or against all the Countries of the GCC in addition to developing a defense strategy for GCC Countries (Ismail, 2014, p. 33).
According to the Neorealism, the GCC Countries could confront the threat of its national and regional security separately such as confronting internal demonstrations and protests for threatening the survival of the State and sovereignty or collectively confronting them through the GCC as in the case of Bahrain or through pacts among the Council States and other States as in the case of Yemen.
2.3.1 Gulf Cooperation Council countries confrontation of their national security threats.
According to Neorealism, the Gulf Countries worked individually and collectively to maintain its internal security to maintain its survival, each of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the Emirates and Qatar individually dealt with the internal protest movements through the openness to their societies, providing steps towards reform and spreading electoral base and the authority of the legislative institutions as in the case of the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman and Kuwait. In addition, promises were given to conduct elections for the Shura Council (State Council) as in the case of the State of Qatar, in addition to admitting women to be nominated and to vote in the elections of municipality councils as in the case of Saudi Arabia. Some GCC Countries also contributed in allocating great budgets to increase salaries and wages, introducing programs in social and service field to assist graduates to find job opportunities (Al-Arabi, 2013, p. 90) where Saudi Arabia allocated US$29bn to assist the unemployed, raise the salaries and wages of the State employees, and established an anti-corruption organization (Obaid, 2013, p. 7).
As for Bahrain, the situation was different; where Iran has exploited the Bahraini Shiite sect in fueling demonstrations; which led GCC Countries confronting this threat in the framework of the joint defense of one of Member States; so they tend to take a collective action and used peninsula shield forces in the elimination of demonstrations in Bahrain and thwarting Iran's Plan to Seize Bahrain and threaten The Internal and Regional Security of Gulf Countries (Al-Arabi, 2013, p. 90).
2.3.2 Gulf Cooperation Council countries confrontation of their regional security threats.
In light of the absence of a supreme governing authority in Arabian Gulf region; and Saudi-Iranian security competition; the regional security of the Arabian Gulf was threatened by the Civil War in Yemen that broke out between the Hadi regime and the Houthis, especially after the Houthi invasion of Sana'a and their gaining more Iranian support; and their siege of President Hadi. If Iran takes control of Yemen, it will control the waterways and threaten the back borders of Saudi Arabia and Oman. Therefore, the GCC Countries have tended to diplomacy at first to eliminate this threat, while resorting to military intervention when the situation has been complicated later after treating the existing and sovereignty of the Yemeni State.
Saudi Arabia, with the help of the GCC, has tried to intervene to end the crisis in Yemen. However, the mobility in Yemeni street and the accelerated pace of events and mistakes made by Saleh's regime in dealing with demonstrators at the beginning of the Revolution was enough to thwart any regional effort. Therefore, Gulf Countries sought to resolve the crisis in Yemen through Gulf diplomacy to place pressure on Saleh to step down by signing an agreement on 23 November 2011 in light of Gulf initiative under the auspices of the GCC, with the support of the Security Council, European Union and United States, as Saleh transferred the power to his deputy Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi; On the other hand, Saleh and his deputies were granted by the Yemeni parliament on 21 January 2012 immunity from prosecution for crimes committed during his rule (Hazem,2017, p. 60).
However, Saleh and his party allied with Houthis and the Civil War between the Yemeni army from one side and Houthis and Saleh's party from the other side. The GCC countries, as part of the regional collective security mechanism, decided to stop the Houthi takeover of Yemen through Saudi-led Arab coalition forces, especially after Saudi Arabia received information that the rebels were approaching the Saudi border (Hazem, 2017, p.61).Where the operation of “Decisive Storm” on 26 March 2015 targeted to counter Houthi expansion and restore political legitimacy. In addition to dismantling the military capabilities of the Houthis; especially after their control with Saleh on 70 per cent of the capabilities of the Yemeni army, and to ensure that the “Huthis” does not threaten the security of neighboring countries; especially the southern borders of Saudi Arabia. The undeclared objectives of the Saudi-led coalition were to “scale down” Iranian influence in the Gulf region (Al-Asraj, 2015, p. 164).
The Security Council has acknowledged that what is happening in Yemen can be regarded as a 'coup', and issued resolution No. (2216) on 14 April 2015; which stipulated for the withdrawal of the Houthis from the areas they occupied and the surrender of their weapons; but Houthis refused to comply with this resolution. On 21 April 2015, Saudi Defense Ministry announced that it had completed air strikes in Yemen; and succeeded in eliminating the security threat posed by the Houthi group. It also announced the start of a new phase called “Operation Restoring Hope” (Hazem, 2017, p. 69).
3. Conclusion and research findings
According to Neorealism, Arab Gulf Countries, Separately or jointly, no longer enjoy the security and stability they had before Arab Spring Revolutions; as they are facing threats and dangerous can be regarded more serious to their existence and sovereignty. The demonstrations and protests that erupted inside these Countries have threatened their regional security and survival, as happened in Bahrain. The expansion of regional instability in light of the regional anarchy has created what is called “GCC neighborhood instability”, which made its regional security threatened by unprecedented Iranian intervention to support Houthis in Yemen in light of regional anarchy and the absence of the supreme governing authority in the Gulf region.
Iran has exploited regional anarchy, lack of supreme governing authority, and uneven balances of power in besieging the Gulf Countries through its regional proxies in several countries, such as Bahrain, Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon, by supporting proxies with weapons and equipment, and employ them to interfere in the internal affairs of the Gulf Countries as well as spreading instability and disorder, as a method of managing its conflict against the United States, the West, and GCC Countries headed by Saudi Arabia.
3.1 The study concluded to a number of results, as follows:
The national security of the GCC Countries has threatened as a result of the Arab Revolutions, which led to outbreak of Revolutions and protests in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Sultanate of Oman. This led to threatening the survival and sovereignty of some States according to the Neorealism; as happened in Bahrain with interference of Iran to fuel the State of instability with the support of the Shiite Sect.
The conflict and Civil War in Yemen led to threaten the regional security of the GCC countries, since Yemen represents the southern gate for the GCC countries that have common border with the kSA and Oman Sultanate. Especially in light of Anarchy and regional competition according to the Neorealism that stems from doubts about the intentions of Iran to support Houthis in Yemen.
The ruling regimes of the GCC countries dealt individually with the protestors’ demands in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman by more political and economical reforms, to maintain its survival and stability. On the other hand, the protests in Bahrain have faced what happened by using Peninsula Shield Force to get rid of the Iranian threat for its security and survival.
The GCC countries dealt at first with Yemen Revolution through the Gulf Diplomat by convincing Saleh to step down. When the crisis escalated by developing the internal conflict in Yemen after the control of Houthis over Sanaa by Iranian support. The Military force used “Decisive Storm” to face regional security threats collectively through coalition.
The GCC countries in light of Security competition and uncertainty of hostile powers' intentions in the region, tried to develop its military capabilities for deterrence and strategic security. Those countries have a modern armed arsenal, in addition to the presence of the western existence on their lands and NATO’s security commitments to protect them.
The GCC has emerged as a more powerful regional organization in dealing with the protests in Bahrain and in the Civil War in Yemen. The GCC confirmed his authority in the time of crisis and employed in the joint Gulf working, on the level of military and security coordination.
The eruption of the Arab Spring Revolutions revealed the intentions of regional and international parties that exploited the events of the Arab Spring to feed the religious, sectarian and ethnic differences among Arab societies.
Formulation of a unified strategy among the GCC countries to deal with the regional variants in the future, like: Protests, Revolutions and demonstrations, to achieve its internal security and maintain its survival and sovereignty.
Dealing with the Yemeni crisis by holding a dialog between the different forces of conflict in Yemen by the GCC with the participation of the regional organizations (Arab League) and international organizations (United Nations) to ease the situations in Yemen and to find solutions and alternatives to this crisis. This is to get rid of threats of its regional security due to Iran's interference in Yemen under in light of regional anarchy and security competition.
GCC Countries study of the option of including Yemen in the Council; as a natural strategic extension for the GCC countries.
Establishing a regional framework for the Gulf region with participation of all the countries of the region, and contributing to its arrangements by States of Gown outside the region and international organizations, until doubts about the intentions of the major Gulf States are eliminated and limiting the militarization of security.
All regional and international organizations are working together to provide humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people who have greatly suffered from the war conflicts and Civil Wars.
Conducting further future research by researchers, scholars and strategic experts concerning the conflict and the Civil War in Yemen, and the attempt to reach recommendations to resolve the crisis.
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