By Azriel Bermant, published in Foreign Policy, 12 August 2022
In June, Jordanian King Abdullah II caused a stir when he remarked that he would support the establishment of a NATO-like military alliance in the Middle East. U.S. President Joe Biden, during his recent visit to the region, affirmed his commitment to “advancing a more integrated and regionally-networked air and missile defense architecture and countering the proliferation of unmanned aerial systems and missiles to non-state actors that threaten the peace and security of the region.” Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has been the most enthusiastic proponent of the idea of a regional defensive alliance and has claimed that the de facto alliance between Israel and several Gulf Arab countries has already been activated successfully against aerial threats from Iran.
Whether or not it takes the shape of a full-fledged alliance, there are interesting parallels between the air defense pact the United States is proposing for the Middle East and NATO’s missile defense system in Europe.
Dr Azriel Bermant
Foreign Policy and International Security Analyst, Historian, Lecturer, Author