This chapter focuses on the international politics of the Gulf region, which are defined by the interplay of the local states and outside powers. The domestic framework and its interactions with transnational influences and external actors are crucial to understanding the environment within which local states operate — whether revolutionary Iran, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, or the Gulf monarchies themselves. Given that regime security drives states in their foreign policies, the need to cope with both internal and external threats is compelling. Outside actors are important in as much as they supply or help to combat such threats. The withdrawal of US forces from Iraq and the relative immunity of the Gulf monarchies from the effects of the Arab Spring have afforded these states greater regional influence and autonomy, but events since 2015 also reveal deep divides among them over issues like IS, Iranian foreign policy, and the war in Yemen.
14. The International Politics of the Gulf
14. The EU’s Security and Defence Policy: A New Leap Forward?
This chapter examines the ways in which, since the late 1990s, the European Union (EU) has tried to emerge as an effective security and defence actor, albeit one focused on overseas missions connected not with expeditionary warfare but with crisis management and regional stabilization. It starts off by analysing the theoretical approaches to the emergence of this new policy area. It then addresses the empirical factors which caused the EU to tackle new and significant security challenges. Next, it considers the implications for international relations of the EU’s emergence as a security actor and the significance of the EU’s forty overseas missions. Finally, it analyses the developments since the publication of the 2016 European Global Strategy document in the context of new and serious security threats in its Southern and Eastern neighbourhoods. These developments were given sharper focus by Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policy, intensifying the debate on the EU’s desire to acquire ‘strategic autonomy’. Finally, the chapter examines the growing debate over the EU’s capacity to defend itself from external aggression without overt US support and suggests the contours of a new transatlantic bargain.