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Iraq and Arabian Gulf Security

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Address by Mr Eric Morris (*) at the 5th International Defence Exhibition & Gulf Conference. Source: GEC, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 18-22, 2001.Gulf Defence Conference 2001 (Paper in Outline).

1. Introduction

Given the nature of this Conference and the constraints of time I will confine my comments to issues of security and threat: broader issues over Iraq’s relationship with GCC states are not covered.

·         Threat contains two elements, capabilities and intentions.

·         Capabilities and the expertise to use those capabilities, takes years and years to develop.

·         Intentions can change in a comparatively short period of time.

·         Capability in the context of military power itself is generally regarded as having two main components:

·         Fighting capability of the armed forces.

·         Effective command and control over armed forces which begins at the very top, at the strategic level, and then filters down to the tactical level of command in the field.

2. The Conventional Battlefield

In the conventional sense of a 21st century battlefield, influenced, as it is by the Revolution in Military Affairs, credible armed forces have got to be able to fight at the high intensity level of conflict.

Are the Iraqi forces credible in that circumstance?

·         HUMINT analysis and assessment.

·         Can they demonstrate the means and the ability to operate their equipment and weaponry effectively?

·         Can they demonstrate proven battle skills in combined and joint operations and in interoperability?

·         Do they have the quality of soldiers, the training and the necessary logistical support to operate effectively on the 24-hour battlefield?

3. Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

·         What about the unconventional sense and the potential threat posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD)?

·         What is known about the true nature of Iraqi capabilities in strategic missiles?

·         Since 1998 and the withdrawal of UNSCOM large gaps remain in assessing WMD capabilities.

·         What form could a WMD threat assume? Does it include a nuclear dimension?

4. Possible Iraqi Intentions

Iraq’s rehabilitation into the Arab world and the international community at large is imminent, all things being equal.

·         Will that rehabilitation remove any vestiges of threat to the GCC states?

·         How will Iraq forge a relationship with the GCC?

·         What assessment can be made of Iraqi perceptions on its own needs for ¡3;Security.

·         And will those needs, if satisfied, present a threat to Gulf Security?

·         What are the implications for Gulf Security of an Iraq-Syrian Axis and a possible broadening into an Iraqi-Syria-Iran Axis?

5. Conclusions

And lastly, will it all change in a post Saddam Hussein Iraq?

N. B. Please note that the views expressed in this paper are the personal thoughts of the Presenter and is no reflection of any government or official position.

Eric Morris

March 2001.

(*) Eric Morris MA; JP

Eric Morris is the chairman of a Geopolitical and Defence Consultancy, a limited company that advises governments, institutions and business both in the United Kingdom and abroad. The Consultancy is retained as the Global Analysts to the Development Group, a network of ninety UK-based corporations. As a strategist Eric Morris also advises companies on structure and organization to achieve long- term objectives and is a specialist in scenario planning. The Consultancy is retained by Lloyds Underwriters on war risk and advises the Panama Canal Authority.

Eric Morris is a member of the Steering Committee of the UK Defence Forum. He is a "distinguished mentor," political and historical advisor to the NATO and UK high-level military exercises and war games. Eric Morris is a Visiting Fellow in the School of Defence Management and Security Analysis at the Royal Military College of Science Shrivenham, Cranfield University and lectures to UK Joint Command Staff College at Watchfield at the adjacent campus.

A graduate of St David's University College, University College of Wales Cardiff and Leicester University he lectured at Liverpool University before joining the Faculty Staff at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. During his fifteen years at Sandhurst Eric Morris taught a wide range of courses in Strategic Studies and International Relations, was Deputy Head of War Studies and College Senior Tutor. He pioneered the introduction and development of simulation exercises into the British Army as a method of officer leadership, development and assessment. Eric Morris has since travelled and lectured extensively in the United States, Central America, Europe, Africa, Arabian Gulf and Asian Rim.

Eric Morris is an established author of some forty titles, chapters, books and articles. He is the leader of a team of specialists who, in collaboration, have produced a Data Reference on Terrorists, Insurgents and Guerrilla Groups; and Jane’s Insurgents and Terrorist Groups. He is a regular contributor to a number of specialist journals and the BBC.

Together with a retired Regular Army officer from the Special Air Service (SAS), he has completed two books Terrorism: Threat and Response (Macmillan 1987) and a second on the Malayan Emergency and the Renaissance of the SAS, entitled Re Enter the SAS. Century Hutchinson published Circles of Hell, an account of the Italian Campaign 1943-1945, which received critical acclaim. Longanesi (Milan) published the book in translation. Crown published the American edition. Eric Morris is currently working a new official biography of Field Marshal Viscount Slim to be published by John Murray of London.

Eric Morris is married with two grown-up children. He is a Justice of the Peace and a Liveryman of the Welsh Livery Guild.

Website: http://www.ericmorrisconsultancy.com

 

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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