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Is an “Arab-style NATO” in the works?

Is an “Arab-style NATO” in the works?

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As instability and unrest continue to rile the greater Middle East, Arab states are searching for ways to confront the growing number of challenges with which they are faced. Militant networks such as ISIL in Iraq and Syria, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis in Egypt, and Islamist militias in Libya pose a tremendous threat to the safety and security of populations in the region. A report from the Associated Press recently emerged that Egypt and its Gulf allies, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are in discussions to form a military alliance designed to grapple with the security concerns of the region.

An “Arab-style NATO” is an idea that has been conceptualized by ASP Senior Adjunct Fellow Fadi Elsalameen. At the core of such a pact would be the acknowledgement by Arab states that they must take action to ensure the safety and security of their societies.

Arabs should take the lead on fighting terrorism in the Arab world. Only Arabs can secure Arab lands and people for peace and prosperity.

Under consideration in the proposed alliance would be the creation of a “core force made up of elite troops with aircraft and access to a pool of intelligence gathered by members of the alliance,” according to the AP. This would be a step towards greater regional cooperation in combatting Islamist militant networks.