officials, security analysts, and academics from the Persian Gulf monarchies, Iran, Iraq, and other Middle East states, as well as Japan, China, India, the European Union (EU), and the United States to discuss “The Future of Persian Gulf Security: Alternatives for the 21st Century”.
The present study will use the qualitative method of analysis to provide a proper discussion of the Persian Gulf security system during 1979-2008 periods. The main analysis of the research will describe and interpret the collected data and information, and part of the analysis of data is related to online information from relevant internet sites.
The researcher, by following the process of analysis will begin interpretation of data. Concerning interpretation, as a final part and the most important part, the researcher will make an effort to lead the study to the best and most reliable conclusion.
In short, this study will be conducted using qualitative research method with data collected from a comprehensive range of sources as explained.
This chapter discusses U.S. policies toward Iran in the Persian Gulf region and also reviews studies on these policies. The chapter contains four different parts. The first part covers the Different definitions of security and regional security. This part focuses on the meaning and concepts related to security, whereby understanding them is helpful for understanding the approaches in following part.
The second chapter is going to evolve the regional security approaches and the Persian Gulf security regimes by reviewing the related literatures undertaken by some scholars such as Barry Buzan and Ole Waever. In this part the US security policies toward Iran in the Persian Gulf from Nixon administration to George Bush will be reviewed. Some of these policies are such as Nixon-Kissinger doctrine; Carter doctrine, Dual containment policy and establishing the Gulf cooperation council.
The third part discusses relevant information from articles written on the alternative Security frameworks for the Persian Gulf including traditional and multilateral approaches which are discussed by scholars such as Michael Kraig, Richard Sokolsky, and Andrew Rathmell. This will help to find out the issues that have not mentioned or have not been studied enough.
The forth part is going to discuss and review the literature of written articles on the Islamic republic of Iran’s policies toward the Persian Gulf region. By this end researcher can obtain the gap between what is done and what is not done about the security arrangements of the Persian Gulf region.
Security in the Persian Gulf has been a major international, regional, and national issue for the coastal states, principally for Iran. On the other hand, the historical studies suggest that during almost two centuries, first Britain and then the United States had continued to claim responsibility for the region’s security. As such, they dictated their regional security strategies over the Persian Gulf region. The region has witnessed three devastating wars over the past three decades (Iran-Iraq war, Iraq-Kuwait war [desert storm], Iraq-US war). The disastrous occupation of Iraq also serves as further proof that the presence of foreign forces only exacerbates the region’s security situation. For the same reasons, the Persian Gulf is in serious need of new security arrangements and the present research work seeks to explicate this particular issue.
There are quite a number of researches analyzing the Persian Gulf security system from various viewpoints and paradigms by some scholars. Most of the researchers like Andrew Rathmel, Michael Kraig, and James A. Russell (2003) have focused on the United States of America as the main balancer of power in the Persian Gulf region, but their practical ideas on how to improve or replace the current security arrangement are not adequate because despite the U.S. policies like the dual containment policy, the region has lurched from crisis to crisis. Toward this end, the current research work tries to underline literatures about Persian Gulf security system and then suggest a feasible solution that could further facilitate formation of all-inclusive local organizations and a “security partnership system” based on native values.
It seems unstable conditions of the Persian gulf region (such as Iran-Iraq war, Iraq Kuwait war, U.S. – Iraq war) have demonstrated that security policies and regional security arrangements that were held in the Persian Gulf area – Twin Pillar Policy ([Nixon’s Doctrine), reliance on Iraq, Dual Containment Policy- were not comprehensive and needed to be changed.
۲.۲ Regional security
Before proceeding further, it is necessary to establish the groundwork for future discussion by elaborating on what “Regional Security” is understood to mean for the purposes of this study. The concept of regional security is a combination of two terms: “region” and “security”. Both concepts are very complex and no commonly accepted definition exists of each (B. Buzan, 1983). Security in any community is determined by the extent to which members of the community feel safe, or by the extent to which outsiders feel safe when entering the neighborhood (Maoz, 1997).
Maoz (1997) offers a tentative definition of regional security, which is:
Regional Security is the sum total of perceptions of national safety (or Perception of freedom of external threats) which members of a regional system feel at a given point in time. This perception is inversely correlated with the sum total of – individual or collective – measures that states in a region employ at a given point in time to ensure their independence and deal with external and internal threats. Regional security or insecurity can thus be inferred from aggregate regional levels of conflict, military allocations, and collective institutions, or alliances (Maoz, 1997, pp. 6-7)
The above definition of regional security is closely linked to Buzan’s concept of ‘Security Complex’ (Barry Buzan, 1983, pp. 105-106). The idea of the above definition is that each state is faced with an external environment which, by its structure, poses a set of potential – if not actual – threats to the local state. A set of states with an overlapping, though clearly not identical, set of concerns forms a “security complex” which sometimes organizes in some collective fashion against common threats, but for the most part, is engaged in guarding themselves against each other.
In an article, Alfred Thayer Mahan (1902) suggested that Britain should take up the responsibility of maintaining security in the (Persian) Gulf and its coasts – the “Middle East” – so that the route to India would be secured and Russia kept in check (Mahan, 1902). Biling (2004) believes that defining security is usually associated with the United States and its regional allies and it derives from a “western” conception of security, which could be summed up as the unhindered flow of oil at reasonable prices, the cessation of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the prevention of the emergence of any regional hegemony while holding Islamism in check, and the maintenance of friendly regimes that are sensitive to these concerns (Bilgin, 2004). This was (and still is) a top down conception of security that privileges the security of states and military stability because threats to security have been defined largely from the perspective of external powers rather than regional states or peoples. From the point of view of the superpowers e.g. U.S, European, the only way to enhance regional security, was for regional states to engage into alliances with the West.
In a useful examination, the concept of national security in the international environment, Barry Buzan (1983) has traced three major objectives which incumbent political administrations must aim to secure. These are: (1) an idea or a notion of the state that will create in the citizen’s mind a sense of allegiance to it and a willingness to accept its authority; (2) the physical presence of governing institutions whose operation gives expression to the overall political culture; and (3) the physical base of population and territory.
The theory that is used for my research is “Regional Security Complex” that was founded by Barry Buzan. Barry Gordon Buzan (۲۸ April 1946) is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics (LSE) and honorary professor at the University of Copenhagen and Jilin University. The “Regional Security Complex Theory” (RSCT) that is a theory of regional security, was advanced by Barry Buzan and Ole Waever in their 2003 work Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security (Gupta, 2010).
The concept of regional security complexes covers how security is