“Saudi Arabia is also now bruiting the induction of Egypt into the Gulf Cooperation Council, presumably with the proviso that Egypt will be allowed to extract enormous strategic rent from the GCC. In return, Egypt will protect the very wealthy but very weak GCC from Iran and Shiite Iraq, and from the Brotherhood. Anonymous Egyptian sources I saw quoted in the Egyptian press when I was there last week were speculating that if al-Sisi becomes president, he can bring in $240 billion in investments and aid from the Gulf………………..”
Arab Male Potentates), seeking poor family-ruled Arab country that does
not believe in democracy, and is willing to send troops and security
agents when needed. Money is no object, up to a point. Preferably no
Shi’as or Hasidim or Haredim among the population.” Possible GCC Personal Want-Ad
That PAMP mock want-ad reflects the state of Gulf GCC regimes since 2011. It is actually the state of the Saudi royal family, since it is the princes who have been flailing to grasp some accommodating Arab regime that can be invited to keep order when needed in exchange for money. From Jordan to Morocco, and now to Egypt.
Perhaps they are better off staying with the U.S. Navy for external protection from any real or (more likely) imaginary foe. Whoever heard of the Egyptian navy? Or the Jordanian navy? Or the Moroccan navy? But protection from whom? What the princes really want is a land force for protection from their own people, protection from change: that is why they have hired mercenaries from Asia and Arab countries (Bahrain) and even Latin America and Australia (UAE).
Modern Egyptian military history, its effectiveness, is very iffy (I am being polite here). In spite of the heroics of Al Sisi. After all, the four wars with Israel were not exactly ringing victories, starting with the first defeat at the hands of the ragtag Haganah bands in 1948, what we call the Palestine War. Actually in that war five Arab armies were defeated by graduates of the European concentration camps and survivors of the butchery of the civilized world. It was all downhill from then.
They may have won their last campaign at home: the war Mr. Mubarak declared on Egyptian swine in 2009, the so-called War on Pigs. Egypt’s native swine, the country’s largest minority for thousands of years seem to have all but disappeared, reportedly eliminated. Long before anyone ever heard of Mohammed Morsi. Although some of them are probably hidden inside the government and the military, sanctioned within the bureaucracy.
The Saudi princes are notoriously unstable (or maybe just stupid). They surprised everyone, perhaps even each other, by unilaterally inviting Jordan and Morocco to join the GCC in 2011. Then they spent the next couple of years trying to walk back from that stupid proposal.
Now they are toying with economically strapped Egypt, a country that keeps getting more crowded along the banks of the Nile. Egypt needs to stop and then reverse its population explosion, otherwise no GCC money can help. Besides, dreams of tens of billions are just that: dreams. They will get a few billion, but at a price of letting the Gulf princes and potentates pick their leaders (as they did in 2013 and 2014), and at the price of deciding their foreign policy. At the price of turning the country even more into a ‘watering’ hole for hungry and thirsty and, er, ‘socially’ frustrated and repressed Wahhabi men.
Here are some links to previous postings on this topic:
GCC Summit in December: Auld Lang Syne and L’Internationale
Bahrain Poised to Import Even More Jordanian Mercenaries?
Morocco and Jordan and GCC Constitutional Monarchy
Moroccans are from Mars, the GCC from Venus? Democracy and Humor
Saudi Leadership of GCC: Three Major Failures, Three Strikes but not Out, not yet
Gulf GCC: on Jordanian Accession, Roman Dinarius, Israeli Shekel, and Kosher Currency
Saudis in Denial: Expanded GCC? What Expanded GCC?
Expanded GCC? Picking Security over Economics, More on Black Magic
Gulf GCC: Moroccan Couscous Controversy, Jordanian Humor Controversy
Riyadh Marriage Proposal: GCC, Morocco, Jordan……
Freedoms the GCC will Bring to Morocco and Jordan……
Fatwas on GCC Expansion: Jordan, Morocco, and the Muftis