From historical strategic and economic point of view the Persian Gulf region stands out. It was the center of colonial rivalries and after the end of second World War it became the focal point of Soviet – U.S. rivalry.
About 55 to 60% of known oil reserves are in the Persian Gulf. The region is rich in the many other resources but due to shortage of water the region suffers from a basic drawback. Lack of water has caused tension among regional states and chances are that if the problem is not tacked seriously now it would lead to greater tension in future.
Strategies for Peace and Security in the Persian Gulf is an attempt to analyze the problems which confront the region today
CHAPTER 1deals with domestic sources of conflict Ethnic divisions, presence of foreign workers, the changing pattern of society and the ever growing role of communication technology are variables which carry a lot of weight for those wanting to study, the political under currents in the Persian Gulf. The Islamic revolution of Iran was an important development which was expected to have ramification for the region. So far the process has not been repeated in any other country. In future a great deal will depend on how regional states choose to deal with the forces of change.
CHAPTER 2attempts to analyze the nature and sources of territorial disputes in the Persian Gulf. The region has a number of historical disputes which remain unresolved. Some progress was made towards conflict resolution and border demarcation in the 1970’s but the trend could not be sustained the security environment has worsened since 1979, 1980’s and 1990’s have been difficult times in the history of Persian Gulf. A number of factors like arms built-up and intervention of extra regional powers are symptomatic of latent tension in the region and are also responsible for accentuating existing conflicts.
CHAPTER 3Presents an examination of important variables affecting defense capabilities of regional states. Also included is an analysis of recent trends in military capabilities. The arms race in the Gulf region is even more difficult to contain as the arms suppliers don not seen interested incurring dangerous tried
CHAPTER 4outlines the salient features of the security systems which have been employed since the end of World War II in the Gulf region. The Twin Pillars policy and the policy of Dual Containment have not been successful in maintaining peace. The regional states have many common interest but they lack a common platform. Strengthening peace in the Persian Gulf would require promotion of mechanisms for conflict resolution, a collective security system and reduction in the military budgets of regional states.
CHAPTER 5examines a number of mechanisms for peace building. There are non-military threats to the security of Persian Gulf. Regional states have not been able to devise a clear strategy for dealing with these threats due to lack of consensus. They need to pay greater attention to the realization of common objectives. There is growing need to promote a new concept of security. In other parts of the world the concept of security has undergone radical transformation. ‘Common Security’ and ‘Cooperative Security’ have contributed towards building an environment in which all the nations feel secure. A more innovative approach towards conflict resolution has been suggested. NGO’s can be encouraged to play a more direct role.
CHAPTER 6revolves around economic issues. In other parts of the world particularly Europe peace building has been strengthened by economic measures. The Persian Gulf nations along with other members of OPEC worked in cooperation for the realization of common objectives during the 1960’s and 1970’s. But the supply of North Sea oil has exacerbated the competition among Persian Gulf states. Economic competition has led to a worsening of political environment. Since there is very little trade among regional states it would be better for them to work towards planned industrialization. This would create interdependence followed by expansion in trade. In the absence of interdependence no meaningful integration can take place. Political trends in the post world ward II period have shown particularly in Europe that commonality of interest economic and political become instrumental in changing national attitudes.