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Leadership in the Middle East (Sultanate of Oman)

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Abstract and Figures

“The power or ability to lead other people” is the definition of the word leadership, according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. Furthermore, to lead means “to direct or guide the actions of,” or also “to be best, first, or ahead.” These definitions simplify the whole task of a leader whether it be in a group as small as a team, or maybe larger like an organization, a country, or even a region. Here, leadership in the Middle East region will be focused on, where the Sultanate of Oman, despite its shortage of tangible powers such as military, population, economy, territory, and resources (even with it being one of the world’s oil-producers and sellers) leads the Middle East with its significant intangible powers. Oman’s governmental skills, culture, national morale, and most importantly its diplomacy all together play a major role in attaining the security of the Middle East.
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Security Seminars
Leadership in the Middle East and Security:
(Sultanate of Oman)
Alia Mahmood Al-Rahma
International Relations and Security Studies Program
Security Issues: Theory & Practice
November 23 - 24, 2015, Muscat
Table of Contents:
Introduction………………………………………..……………………………. 1
I. Historical Background………………………………………………….……. 2
a. Oman in Early History………………………………………………. 2
b. Oman After 1970……………………………………………………..4
II. Current Situation……………………………………………..……………. 7
III. Futuristic Expectations ………………………………………………………9
Conclusion …………………………………………..………………………….12
References …………………………………………..…………………………..13
1
Introduction:
“The power or ability to lead other people” is the definition of the word
leadership, according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary.
1
Furthermore, to
lead means “to direct or guide the actions of,” or also “to be best, first, or
ahead.”
2
These definitions simplify the whole task of a leader whether it be
in a group as small as a team, or maybe larger like an organization, a
country, or even a region. Here, leadership in the Middle East region will
be focused on, where the Sultanate of Oman, despite its shortage of tangible
powers such as military, population, economy, territory, and resources
(even with it being one of the world’s oil-producers and sellers) leads the
Middle East with its significant intangible powers. Oman’s governmental
skills, culture, national morale, and most importantly its diplomacy all
together play a major role in attaining the security of the Middle East. You
might be wondering what security we are talking about when practically
the whole Middle East is in threat and in flames. Think about it this way;
the situation could have been more chaotic and much worse had Oman had
a different stance and a different foreign policy. However, this relatively
small nation happens to be located in a strategic area, making it a country
where its well-known internal stability is reflected in the world, and more
specifically, in the Middle Eastern region.
So what Middle East are we talking about? To some, the Middle East
automatically refers to the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa). To
others, it is the Greater Middle East, a term defined by the George Bush
Administration, which denotes that “it covers Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan,
Turkey, and Israel, whose only common denominator is that they lie in the
zone where hostility to the US is strongest, in which Islamic
fundamentalism in its anti-Western form is most rife.”
3
However, in this
research, what is referred to by the Middle East is in fact the Near East,
where in 1958, the U.S. Department of State has clarified that the two terms
are substitutable.
4
The countries in this region include all Arab countries
including Turkey and Israel, and excluding the North African region. A
1
Leadership. 2015. In Merriam-Webster
Dictionary.
2
Lead. 2015. In Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
3
Gilbert Achkar. Greater Middle East: The US Plan, 2004. Retrieved from:
mondediplo.com
4
“’Near East’ is Mideast, Washington Explains.” The New York Times. August 14, 1958.
2
map showing the countries is in Figure 1 on the following page. The leading
country in this region is the Sultanate of Oman, where security lies and is
also spread.
Figure 1: The Middle East is outlined, and Muscat, the capital of Oman is pointed by the
dot.
I. Historical Background
a) Oman in Early History
Going back as early as the 700s, Islam was introduced in Oman, where
Arabs began to dominate. Later in the 800s, the Ibadi Islamic sect came
into power by means of successive and hereditary Ibadi rule. In 1507, the
Portuguese invaded the country and captured the Omani coast. However,
in 1650, the Portuguese occupation was ousted by the Ya’rub tribe, and a
member of the same tribe was elected Imam. During this era, Oman has
expanded overseas, reaching Africa, where it has conquered Mombasa,
Pemba, Zanzibar, and Kilwa. “The Omanis became the supreme power on
the coastal regions of the Indian Ocean, and European merchants feared
marauding Omani fleets.
5
Just to note, one can see that Oman has had a
strong stand since early history. Nevertheless, Oman’s power did not end
here, though, as Ahmed ibn Said, a member of the Bu’Said tribe, managed
5
Robert Bertram Serjeant. “History of Arabia.” Retrieved from www.britannica.com
3
to banish the Persians in 1749 after their invasion in 1737. Thereafter, the
Bu Sa’id dynasty has been founded, and remains in royalty until today
under a Sultanate reign.
6
In 1840, Sheikh Ahmed bin Naa’man Al Kaabi was appointed Ambassador
to the United States; he was the first Arab ambassador to the United States.
His mission was to strengthen the ties between the two countries, as well
as to purchase weapons. This historical event clearly depicts the strong
Omani-US relations for almost two centuries, and they resume until today.
Also, Arabian politics were starting to be affected by the growth of the East
India Company and the British supremacy in India. The most affected area
was the Southern Coastal region. Britain gained commercial control of this
area. At any rate, the presence of the British benefitted the Sultanate by
building and reconstructing the nation; by doing so, it has simultaneously
strengthened diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Despite the foreign relations—or let us say the “Western relations,” in
1913, there has been a dispute in the division of control as the interior of
Oman has been ruled by the Ibadi Imams, and the coastal areas by the
Sultan. In 1920, after the intervention of the British, Sultan Taimur bin
Faisal recognized the autonomy of the interior under the Treaty of Seeb, a
British-brokered Agreement.
7
Here, one can see how British assistance
played a role in the governance of the country. Oman has clearly built
strong and solid relations with the West, which is what makes it the tactful
country it is today.
However, the country has not remained stable as in 1954 the Imams have
still been in conflict for rule; they wanted to be in control of the entire
nation. Nonetheless, Sultan Said bin Taimur regained rule even of the
interior in 1959. In 1964, oil reserves were discovered, and three years later,
their extraction began. In 1965, a rebellion occurred in the Southern region
of Dhofar, where leftists fought against Government troops. Oman at the
time was in isolation, mainly due to the fact that it had a closed economy.
In 1970, Sultan Qaboos bin Said came to power after undergoing a coup,
overthrowing his father. The Omani government then in the mid-1970s
acquired military assistance from two of its allies: Iran and Jordan to
6
Oman Profile Timeline. From BBC News. Retrieved from
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-14654492
7
The Sultanate of Oman. A Forgotten Empire. Retrieved from
http://www.britishempire.co.uk/maproom/oman/sultanate.htm
4
combat the rebellion.
8
What we can notice is that the intervention this time
is by two countries from the same region, the Middle East, which hence
depicts the fine relations between the Sultanate and other nations within the
region. Despite these relations, since his reign, reform and development
transpired, and the economy of the Sultanate has certainly flourished, all
via the “Omani Rennaissance.
9
b) Oman After 1970
Over the past three decades, the Sultanate of Oman has conducted a unique
regional foreign policy characterized by independence, pragmatism and
moderation,” says Jeffrey Lefebvre in his article Oman’s Foreign Policy in
the Twenty-First Century.
10
The Sultanate of Oman enjoys this kind of
Foreign Policy as it highly contributes to the country’s natural leadership-
gain within the region. The modernization and liberalization of the
economy, especially by oil exports, did play a role in accomplishing this
status, but again the country’s internal and external policies are the key to
its power.
11
Lefebvre says, “Besides his domestic accomplishments,
Sultan Qaboos moved to reestablish Oman's role as an active regional
player by ending his father's isolationist foreign policy.”
12
In 1971, the expansion of the external relations of Oman began: Oman
joined the United Nations as well as the Arab League. Since this
membership occurred just as soon as His Majesty came to power, it shows
how important international participation of the country is to the Sultan.
However, in referral to the Dhofar rebellion mentioned in the previous
section, the domestic status of the country has not been stable, making it
difficult for Oman to focus on foreign relations. Nevertheless, towards the
end of the 1970s, the internal issues were resolved and stabilized, allowing
the Sultanate to proceed with its foreign policy and thus its relations.
Unlike the other states of the Middle East, Oman’s foreign policy is very
pragmatic. For this reason, despite its smallness, Oman manages to provide
stability and security within the region. Oman has three basics for its
foreign policy and they are as follows: acquire a great-power patron
8
Oman Profile Timeline. From BBC News. Retrieved from
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-14654492
9
Lefebvre, Jeffrey A. “Oman’s Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century.” Middle
East Policy 17.1 (Spring 2010) p. 99
10
Lefebvre, Ibid, p. 99.
11
Lefebvre, Ibid, p. 99.
12
Lefebvre, Ibid, p. 99.
5
(protector), avoid alienating your patron, and avoid making enemies.”
13
This way, it has managed to maintain its high status quo within the region,
making it the sole one without conflict. In the Middle East, certain issues
such as the Persian Gulf security, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and global
security threats were of high concern. Nonetheless, to Oman, these issues
were not as concerning, all by means of following its three basic rules.
When one looks at the Persian Gulf security, the GCC (Gulf Cooperation
Council) is automatically referred to. In 1981, Oman became a founding
member of the six GCC member states. The GCC was formed particularly
when there was great tension in the region, during the first year of the Iran-
Iraq War. The formation of the Council was mainly to ensure stability and
security.
14
During this war, Oman has maintained its ties with both sides,
unlike Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, who have opposed Iran. This was the
beginning of the acquirement of regional allies, where the Sultanate has
refused to take a side, which eventually gives it the benefit of “being a
friend” of all friends and enemies. This is applicable in all regional and
international conflicts such as Iraq’s invasion in Kuwait in 1990, where
even if the Sultanate worked with the United States on liberating Kuwait,
it was simultaneously building and strengthening its ties with Baghdad.
15
Furthermore, if we go just a little back, the United States and Iran were
prone to war in the late 1980s due to US military intervention in the Persian
Gulf. There were naval clashes between the two countries, as well as tragic
incidences such as the shooting of an Iranian civilian airplane by the USS
Vincennes, where all its passengers died. Oman still provided logistical
support for the US Naval Operation, and yet aided in the deportation of
captured Iranians during the naval clashes.
16
Here, we are seeing Oman’s
gain of regional allies, let alone the alliance with the world’s superpower.
One can now picture the Omani Foreign Policy strategy. It could be
symbolized by an octopus, where the main body is Oman, having its arms
spread throughout the region. Oman remains unbiased regardless of the
opinions of its neighboring countries and others in the region. This
persistence gives Oman a solid stand in the Middle East, which could be
13
Lefebvre, ibid, p. 100.
14
Mohammed Saleh Al Musfir. Domes 17.2 (Fall 2008): 32-53 .Political Security Issues
at the Concluding Statements of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Sessions 1981-
2001: An Analytical Study of the Content.
15
Lefebvre, ibid, p.100.
16
Lefebvre, ibid, p.100.
6
further explored in another concerning issuethe Arab-Israeli Conflict.
Following the 1978 Camp David Accord and the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli
Peace Treaty, Oman publicly went against the flow of Arab opinion, as well
as the decision of the Arab League to cut ties with Cairo. It has maintained
its relations with Egypt, which depicts the Sultan’s “independence,
pragmatism, and moderation.”
17
This is the core of diplomatic power; it
makes countries reconsider any decision they make that is harmful to the
region, as there is no reason to harm the Sultanate, which is located
strategically on the world map, and more specifically in the map of the
Middle East.
Let us take the example of Iran’s nuclear weapons ambition after its attempt
in spreading the Islamic Revolution throughout the Gulf.
18
The Gulf has
feared this ambition, however, Oman was not as concerned as it was certain
that if anything were to affect the country, it could stretch one of its arms
to the United States asking for aid, even military aid.
19
This keeps Iran in
fear rather than being feared; hence, one can assure that it is not considered
a threat anymore. Therefore, the key to a leading nation is simply to have
allies. Strong ties and relations undoubtedly serves for the benefit of the
country, as well as the region, indirectly. Think of it this way; just like there
are proxy-wars, there shall be an official term called ‘proxy-peace.’
At any rate, all the above mentioned are important historical events that
depict Oman’s strong diplomatic power which surpasses all other kinds of
powers in the region whether they be military, economic, territorial,
popular, or even resource-wise. The fact that Oman maintained good
relations with the Middle East, many of the conflicts that were likely to
occur and/or escalate have been either concealed or extinguished. This
makes Oman something like a ‘leader in disguise.’
17
Lefebvre, ibid, p. 101.
18
Lefebvre, ibid, p. 101.
19
Lefebvre, ibid, p. 101.
7
II. Current Situation
A close picture of the situation of Oman currently would show even more
its leadership, despite its shortage in many tangible areas. By taking a quick
look at the country profile of the Sultanate, we will see that it enjoys its
very humble sources of power, especially in comparison with some bigger
countries in the region. According to the latest information from the CIA
World Factbook, Oman has a population of around 3.3 million, has a PPP
per capita of about $44,000 , an area of 309,500 km² and around an 86%
oil-dependent economy.
20
Oman borders the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, and the Persian Gulf
between UAE and Yemen. It lies just beneath Iran, separated by the Strait
of Hormuz. The Strait of Hormuz is of great importance to the world as it
is the only gateway from the Persian Gulf to the high seas, which depicts
its strategic importance.
21
Moreover, Oman does not contain a strong military power. Currently,
Oman has an active personnel of 70,000, and a reserved personnel of
20,000. Realists would believe that a large military would determine a
country’s power, hence leadership. Well, Oman has minimal military
power. For instance, by taking the air force factor to compare, Oman,
ranked 7th just in the middle of the Middle Eastern military power ranking,
owns a total of 103 aircrafts.
22
Israel, who is ranked first, has a total area
size of only 20,000 km², and a total number of 684 aircrafts. In addition, if
we take a large-size Middle Eastern country like let us say Iran, ranked
second, whose area is 1.648 million km², it has a total of only 471
aircrafts.
23
Moreover, as a reminder, both Israel and Iran have nuclear
powers as well. Nevertheless, this depicts that land size could be ruled out
or at least ignored when it comes to comparing powers.
Furthermore, despite their military strengths, Israel and Iran’s roles in the
region are not even close to those of leadership ones. This is realpolitik;
where the strongest is the one with the largest military. So, does the most
powerful state in the region mean it gained leadership? If one takes a close
look at the former examples, both countries are causes of threats and wars,
20
CIA World Factbook.
21
James Kraska, Legal vortex in the Strait of Hormuz. Virginia Journal of
International Law, (Spring 2014)
22
Middle East Countries Ranked by Military Power. Retrieved from:
http://www.globalfirepower.com/
23
Ibid.
8
direct and proxy, which eventually cause turbulence in the region rather
than lead it. As we have seen in the previous section, the conflicts that have
created instability in the region were actually related to both these
countries. Oman, on the other hand, remains neutral, and at the same time
attempts to attain peace between nations and security in the region using its
diplomatic skills; this is leadership.
In addition, despite its acquisition, Oman does have a shortage in the
components of tangible power. As we have seen, the military, economy,
land area, and population size are all minor. They do compose a complete
nation, but if we take it into the power politics, the country is not considered
powerful. It is highly unpredictable that such a modest nation would have
a say in the international arena. However, what is also keeping the country
stable, other than its diplomatic skills, is the rest of the intangible power
components.
Government-wise, even if Oman is a monarchy, the legislative body
composed of the State Council and Shura Councilin the country mainly
represents the people. In fact, the Shura Council MPs who represent the
people are directly elected by the people. This creates a sense of stability in
the country as the citizens voices are heard and not neglected. More to say,
the executive body of the country carries out their tasks in accordance with
the legislature, which again contains the needs and voices of the people.
This is a government skill, a power, that results in another intangible one:
national morale.
Because the government responds to its people, they are generally satisfied
with what they receive. In fact, According to the World Happiness Report
of 2015, Oman comes 2nd in the Middle East after the UAE in terms of level
of happiness.
24
In our capitalist world today, usually the level of happiness
is linked with financials. This is not the case in the Middle East at least; the
GDP per capita of the UAE is $43,000.
25
In Oman it is 22,000,
26
almost
half of that of the UAE. This is an indicator that there is no direct correlation
between a strong economy and people’s satisfaction. There must be
something else that satisfies the people. Given the other components of
intangible power mentioned earlier, it could be concluded that they are all
spines that make up a backbone; the backbone is the solid stance of Oman
24
John F. Helliwell, Richard Layard, Sachs. World Happiness Report, 2015.
25
The World Bank. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD.
26
Ibid.
9
as it ensures its own country’s safety, security, and contentment and reflects
it outside. Conversely, a way of ensuring these factors are also done via
efforts for regional security without animosity, as mentioned in the
previous section. Therefore, Oman works on regional security for the safety
of its people, and at the same time works on internal security and stability
in order to operate well with the outside. Unlike others who acquire and
utilize their tangible powers and forces, Oman’s gains certainly overcome
its losses. A good leader must win.
III. Futuristic Expectations
In this research, Oman’s domestic and some of its previous major
international interventions have been pointed out. As we have seen, Oman
ensures domestic stability in order to function worldwide, and attempts
regional stability in order to guarantee the safety and security of the
country. Thus, in referral to the definition of the word “leadership” as stated
earlier in this paper, Oman is certainly practicing it.
Oman would always be the mediator in the region. This is because
mediators usually do not take sides, and in accordance with its foreign
policy, Oman is the only unbiased country in the region that would do the
job accurately. Again, it does not matter how big, rich, or powerful a
country is, but the fact that it has this foreign policy, which falls under
diplomacy and government skills, Oman manages to be a mediator and a
peacemaker.
In all cases, Oman always stands in the middle, trying to terminate and
eliminate violence and attain peace within the region. All this is done via
its diplomatic skills, and will continue doing so. This is because the
credibility of Oman is surely high, as it managed to bring together the two
enemies, the United States and Iran, on one table in 2014. The nuclear issue
that has been on-going for decades has been resolved by means of Omani
mediation. Who knows, had this nuclear deal not had happened maybe Iran
would have been another Iraq, and bloody history would repeat itself.
Moving on, Oman will not change its method of neutrality because it will
negatively affect the country, and hence the Middle Eastern region,
especially when it comes to the matter of religion. Already Oman’s rule is
from the Ibadi sect. However, the different sects within the country which
also include Sunnis and Shiites are coexist and live in harmony, unlike the
10
other neighboring countries. During the events of 2011, also called the
“Arab Spring,” for instance, Bahrain encountered clashes between the
government and the Shiite sect. The PSF from the GCC member states were
sent to combat the Shiite protestors. However, Oman, as expected, has not
participated. This is beneficial for the region in two ways. First, it is a
message that calls “peace without force;” and second, it is a way of
portraying its unbiased stand regarding the religious sect issue. If Oman
had participated, the unity of the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural nation
27
would be jeopardized, causing an internal split, which would hence be
reflected regionally; what would be expected is an assured regional war
between Sunnis and Shiites. Therefore, Oman’s firmness in such sensitive
issues maintains the little bit of stability that is left in the region. Otherwise,
the Middle East would fall apart.
Speaking of Sunnis and Shiites, Oman neighbors the most recent war in the
region, the Saudi war on Yemen. The reason for this war put into one
sentence is that Saudi (Sunni) wants to attain regional power, and after the
Houthis take-over, it is in great fear of Iranian (Shiite) regional power.
28
All
members of the GCC, except Oman, has sent forces to Yemen. However,
Oman has remained once again unbiased. In fact, Oman tried to resolve the
issue via negotiations with both sides. Oman does not “go with the flow,”
but studies and knows well the matter of danger and threat nearby wars
would cause. Since Oman borders these two nations, there will be a lack of
logistic aid. Also, taking side means the enmity of the other side, which
would consequently lead to a tremor in the region’s security. Hence, since
it did not interfere previously, and did not do it now, Oman will remain
uninvolved in such matters, and will only get involved by negotiating,
mediating, and even hosting citizens from both sides.
At any rate, this rigid decision is at all times difficult because it is always
against the tide of the GCC opinion. Nonetheless, the fact that Oman takes
these arduous decisions makes it a leading country in the region. A saying
by the author Wendelin Van Draanen stipulates, “next time you're faced
with a choice, do the right thing. It hurts everyone less in the long run.”
29
27
Vincent McBrierty, Mohammad Al Zubair. Oman : Ancient Civilisation, Modern
Nation : Towards a Knowledge and Service Economy. 2004. Trinity College Dublin
Press. Abstract
28
Nazemroaya, Mahdi Darius. The Geopolitics Behind the War in Yemen: The Start of a
New Front Against Iran. March 29, 2015. Retrieved from http://www.globalresearch.ca/
29
Wendelin Van Draanen. Flipped. Random House. 2001. Retrieved from
www.goodreads.com
11
The choices Oman makes in such critical conditions therefore benefit the
future of the region as it is a gateway to safety and security. So, it is a shame
to mistake tangible power (which Saudi Arabia possesses) for leadership;
the two words, as we can see, have no resemblance.
The question hence arises: what do the conflicting countries in the Middle
East want? We understand the Israeli-Palestinian issue. But has this on-
going issue been resolved by force? Negotiations has certainly not worked,
but neither has force! We move to another issue; the Syrian crisis. Did force
manage to stabilize the country? It certainly did not as the crisis is still
taking place. We move to another issue; the Saudi-Arabian war on Yemen.
Has this war benefitted Saudi Arabia? What are the gains of this war? Has
their fierce intervention in Yemen reached their target? We continue to
move on. The current conflict between Turkey and Russia regarding ISIS,
the major threat to the world; what are the gains? When one takes a look at
these on-going crises, it is a pity to believe that military power would bring
about the targets. The Middle East is currently in chaos, in a huge mess
when most countries are in the end just striving for power by portraying it.
It does not work the realist way now. In fact, it is doing nothing but making
the situation worse.
Oman’s strategy, which would fit in mostly with the Liberalist school, as it
calls for collaberation, cooperation, trade, negotiation, and no use of force.
It is a benefit since it is the only country in the Middle East not involved in
violence. If the Sultanate changed this strategy, there will not be a
“stabilizing element” in the region. One could imagine how much more
chaotic the situation would be. Therefore, in the future, it his highly
predictable that Oman would not change; it would remain the same and will
not utilize force under any circumstance. Well, maybe this explains the low
military power it has because for a strategic country like Oman, a stronger
military power would be expected. Also, which country would Oman use
force against? With its unique foreign policy, it managed to befriend all
states, which therefore gives it no reason to use force, or even have force
be imposed on it. This way, its status is secured, which hence gives it the
ability and privilege to work on the rest of Middle Eastern security and
peace, which it is currently undergoing. Had the countries have followed
the same path, conflicts would have certainly been resolved or avoided. At
any rate, Oman would still be the “octopus,” where it remains firm,
stretching out its arms to the rest of the region.
12
Conclusion
In conclusion, Oman’s historical background of reigning parts of Africa
and having authority over parts of Asia already depicts the strength of the
country. Despite the changes in Imamates and dynasties during the past few
centuries, the Sultanate was and still remains a country with friendly ties
with the outside world. It is certain that the pre-Qaboos era has been
considered a dark-age internally, but the victories accomplished like the
exile of the Portuguese and Persians in its early history just gave it more
strength. Furthermore, once Sultan Qaboos bin Said came to power,
reforms have been made in the country, and the stability and security within
it has been ensured. Thenceforth, Oman began to participate in the
international arena with its very unique and distinctive foreign policy
neutrality and independence.
With this foreign policy, Oman managed to be a key actor in promoting
peace, resolving conflicts, and avoiding clashes. Regardless of Oman’s fair
tangible powers, it has not affected its role in leading Middle Eastern issues.
Its diplomatic skills are the secret to its leadership. Others may disagree as
they believe leadership is correlated with tangible powers; this is not true.
This paper examines the roles of Oman in the region, and how it practices
leadership roles. On the contrary, what is thought to be meant my leadership
via tangible powers is proven incorrect. Leading should eventually take a
country to its desired aim. Powerful countries such as Israel and Iran have
not yet proven this. In fact, it is shown that Oman does reach its goal(s) first
by stabilizing the country with its governmental skills, preserving its unity
in this multi-cultural nation, and securing the national morale of the people.
Then, through its strong diplomatic relations and alliance with the world’s
nations, Oman manages to tactfully and humbly lead the various security
issues that are unfortunately occurring in the burning Middle East. By doing
so, the concept of leadership thus applies to the Sultanate of Oman.
13
References
Achkar, Gilbert. Greater Middle East: The US Plan, 2004. Retrieved from:
mondediplo.com
Al Musfir, Mohammed Saleh. PhD. Domes 17.2 (Fall 2008): 32-53 .Political
Security Issues at the Concluding Statements of the Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC) Sessions 1981-2001: An Analytical Study of the Content.
CIA World Factbook.
Helliwell, John F. & Layard, Richard & Sachs. World Happiness Report, 2015.
Kraska, James. “Legal vortex in the Strait of Hormuz. Virginia Journal of
International Law, (Spring 2014) Volume 54, Issue 2: 324-366.
Lefebvre, Jeffrey A. Oman’s Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century Middle
East Policy 17.1 (Spring 2010): 99-114.
McBrierty, Vincent & Al Zubair, Mohammad. Oman : Ancient Civilisation,
Modern Nation : Towards a Knowledge and Service Economy. 2004. Trinity
College Dublin Press. Abstract
Nazemroaya, Mahdi Darius. The Geopolitics Behind the War in Yemen: The
Start of a New Front Against Iran. March 29, 2015. Retrieved from:
www.globalresearch.ca
Serjeant, Robert Bertram. “History of Arabia.” Retrieved from
www.britannica.com
Yenigun, Cuneyt, “Intangible Powers of Oman,” Political Science Seminar
Series 5, March 2015, Muscat.
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http://www.globalfirepower.com/
“’Near East’ is Mideast, Washington Explains.” The New York Times. August
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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-14654492
The Sultanate of Oman. A Forgotten Empire. Retrieved from
http://www.britishempire.co.uk/maproom/oman/sultanate.htm
The World Bank Data. Retrieved from:
http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD
Leadership. 2015. In Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Lead. 2015. In Merriam-Webster Dictionary
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This article resolves long-standing confusion over the legal regime that applies to passage through the Strait of Hormuz. Iran and the United States profoundly disagree about the applicable international law in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow stretch of water through which travels 17 million barrels of oil per day — 20 percent of the world total. Surprisingly, these important legal questions have been virtually ignored, even though the Strait of Hormuz has been the locus of conflict between Iran and the West in the past, and will be ground zero in any war in the region. The United States is unabashed that it enjoys an immutable right to freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz, whereas Iran insists that it may regulate traffic through the Strait and restrict the passage of warships. The legal riddle and intransigence formed by the claims and counter-claims in the Strait of Hormuz begs for concrete analysis to inform scholars and policymakers. The standoff is especially complicated because the United States and Iran are not parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Both states have bypassed UNCLOS, the one multilateral treaty positioned to resolve their differences. As a heavy user of the Strait of Hormuz for both naval operations and oil tanker traffic, and a global proponent of international law adjudication and structured dispute resolution, the United States has a keen interest in better understanding the legal regime in the Straits and the appropriate distribution of rights and obligations that apply along the waterway. Experience in the Oil Platforms Case demonstrates that Iran is unafraid to bring suit at the International Court of Justice against the United States to challenge the legality of U.S. warship operations near its coast, so it is important to conduct an unbiased assessment of the issue since legal determinations may have strategic consequences. Both Iran and the United States insist the law is on their side, and the legal dispute serves as a destabilizing backdrop to other dimensions of U.S.-Iranian relations. What is the answer to this dilemma? This article concludes that the United States is not entirely correct in its claim that it enjoys unimpeded freedom of navigation through the strait as a feature of customary international law. In fact, the navigational regime of nonsuspendable innocent passage was in force for passage through international straits long before adoption of UNCLOS in 1982. Until or unless it joins UNCLOS, the United States enjoys only the right of nonsuspendable innocent passage in the Strait of Hormuz, but at the same time, Iran is limited to enforcement of only a three nautical mile territorial sea rather than the contemporary standard of 12 nautical miles.
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The purpose of this paper is to investigate the contents of the concluding statements of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) sessions from 1981 to 2001 concerning political and security issues. In particular, the study reviews six topics, including cooperation in the military field, cooperation in the field of security, the Iraqi-Kuwaiti issue, the Arab-Israeli conflict, cooperation in the field of fighting terrorism, and GCC Iranian relations. The GCC Supreme Council affirmed the right of the Palestinians to establish their independent state whose capital would be Eastern Jerusalem. The GCC demanded the elimination of weapons of mass destruction when it came to the issue of the Iraqi - Kuwait problem. Concerning the relations between the GCC and Iran, the emphasis was on calling for a peaceful resolution to the problems of the islands [Abu Musa, Tunb Major and Tunb Minor]. The GCC stressed the importance of intensive communications among the security agencies in the member states, and condemning terrorism in all its forms and types. Finally, the GCC expressed satisfaction with the accomplishments in the military and defense sector.
Greater Middle East: The US Plan
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Al Musfir, Mohammed Saleh. PhD. Domes 17.2 (Fall 2008): 32-53.Political Security Issues at the Concluding Statements of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Sessions 1981-2001: An Analytical Study of the Content.
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McBrierty, Vincent & Al Zubair, Mohammad. Oman : Ancient Civilisation, Modern Nation : Towards a Knowledge and Service Economy. 2004. Trinity College Dublin Press. Abstract Nazemroaya, Mahdi Darius. The Geopolitics Behind the War in Yemen: The Start of a New Front Against Iran. March 29, 2015. Retrieved from: www.globalresearch.ca
A Forgotten Empire Retrieved from http://www.britishempire.co.uk/maproom/oman/sultanate.htm The World Bank Data. Retrieved from: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY
  • The Sultanate
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The Sultanate of Oman. A Forgotten Empire. Retrieved from http://www.britishempire.co.uk/maproom/oman/sultanate.htm The World Bank Data. Retrieved from: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD Leadership. 2015. In Merriam-Webster Dictionary Lead. 2015. In Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Ancient Civilisation, Modern Nation : Towards a Knowledge and Service Economy Trinity College Dublin Press Abstract Nazemroaya, Mahdi Darius. The Geopolitics Behind the War in Yemen: The Start of a New Front Against Iran Retrieved from: www.globalresearch.ca SerjeantHistory of Arabia
  • Vincent Mcbrierty
  • Zubair
  • Mohammad
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McBrierty, Vincent & Al Zubair, Mohammad. Oman : Ancient Civilisation, Modern Nation : Towards a Knowledge and Service Economy. 2004. Trinity College Dublin Press. Abstract Nazemroaya, Mahdi Darius. The Geopolitics Behind the War in Yemen: The Start of a New Front Against Iran. March 29, 2015. Retrieved from: www.globalresearch.ca Serjeant, Robert Bertram. "History of Arabia." Retrieved from www.britannica.com
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