The Gulf Security Dialogue and Related Arms Sale Proposals
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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In May 2006, the Administration launched an effort to revive U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council GCC security cooperation under the auspices of a new Gulf Security Dialogue GSD. The Dialogue now serves as the principal security coordination mechanism between the United States and the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council GCC Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. The core objectives of the Dialogue are the promotion of intra-GCC and GCC-U.S. cooperation to meet common perceived threats. The Dialogue provides a framework for U.S. engagement with the GCC countries in the following six areas 1 the improvement of GCC defense capabilities and interoperability 2 regional security issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Lebanon 3 counter-proliferation 4 counter-terrorism and internal security 5 critical infrastructure protection and 6 commitments to Iraq. The Administration has proposed a series of arms sales intended to enhance the defense capabilities of the GCC countries and improve the interoperability of their militaries in line with the objectives of the Gulf Security Dialogue. In particular, the Administration recently has proposed the sale of defense systems designed to strengthen the maritime, air, and missile defenses of some GCC members. Under Section 36b of the Arms Export Control Act AECA, Congress must be formally notified 30 calendar-days before the Administration can take the final steps to conclude a government-to-government Foreign Military Sale of 1 major defense equipment to a non-NATO government valued at 14 million or more, 2 defense articles or services valued at 50 million or more, or 3 design and construction services valued at 200 million or more. Congress may review proposed sales and take steps to amend or prohibit them.
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