The Gulf Cooperation Council, which is kind of like ASEAN but is looking more and more like NATO, is thinking about increasing the number of troops in the group’s joint military force, which is known, rather apocalyptically, as the Peninsula Shield.
The GCC said bolstering the ranks of this shared army would help the countries that belong to it — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar —defend themselves from “external” threats.
Like what? Terrorists. Pirates, maybe?
How about its own people? Will a larger shared military be used to more effectively douse popular uprisings like the one that took place in Bahrain in March?
Just as a protest movement In Bahrain was gaining the kind of momentum that toppled Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak the month before, the Gulf Cooperation Council issued a mandate to send almost 2,000 troops into the tiny little country to protect institutions belonging to Bahrain’s government.
It was a show of force that made its point clearly — The Bahraini people marching in the streets were up against something much larger than its own government.