A RED SEA SECURITY SYSTEM: POLITICAL, MILITARY, AND ECONOMIC ISSUES

Created: 12/1/1981

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

A Red Sea Security System: Political, Military, and Economic Issues^

An ImlrifigMK. AiM-suwrt

Information avallablt tuofS1 Add bttn uiid In tht firtpcraiio*his rrpon.

A Red So Security System:ilitary, aad Ecoactoiic

KeynriUfic importance of ibe Redkdy to fiuw subsunually over

ibe nej| few years uresult of recent military aad ecorxenic developmenU:

USpJoyinent Forces rely on miUtary faculties in the region to help counter Soviet eipansionism.

Saudi Arabia hu Just completedi! pipeline to thr Red Sea that win caable it toobsuniisl share of iu crude without gang through tbe vulnerable Straii of Hormuz.

Riyadh baa agreed ioipeline to the Red Sea from Iraqi oiJ-fieldi.

At the ume time the Ubyin-Elhiopian-Soijlh Yemeni pact ai welt at the Soviet presence In South Yemen and Ethiopia threaten the stability of the southern Red Sea 'ttWK

These developments give Arab countries from Egypt through Saodi Arabia totake in Red Sea security. At present, security cooperation among these and other Arab countries races major obstacles includingpoli'ical and rdcological rivalries and disagreement over the rote of US military power in the Middle East. If the Soviet and radical threats became more menacing, however, neutral and pro-Wcsiem countries might make common cause. In tbe absence of Arab cooperation. Israel probably will die ibe growingof tbe Red Sea shipping lanes lo the West lo strengthen iu argument for broader US-Israeli strategic cooperation as the 'r'u'nssssHI

a Red Sea Security System: Political, MMtaiy, aod Economic

Factors

The Redritical to Weaiero efTorU to Hop Soviet cirniuiomun in southwest Asia aod to guard Ibe oil iroutes from tbe Persian Golf. The US Navy prefers ihc Suci Canal to the lonier and costlier route around the Cape of Good Hopeunding ,between the North Aiuniie-Medrtemrieari and the Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf. TheseiadwdedoaaD, po-ered aircraftincrease in number as the United State* develop, facilities Ln Kenya. Somalia, Oman, and DiegoThe Uniicd Suua and Egyptasalve imprc enient in Raamall airstrip and harbor am on Egypt's southern Red Sea coast, to make it suitable for -etcum, .res for US forces moving into the Persianbe oillapsc of US iiinuCBCc in Ethiopia has dranulically iocrcased the importance ti Sudan aod Somalia as bate* for projecting Wenern power into Ihe southern Redorthweit Indian Ocean. The United Slates plana to sue air and naval facihiiea ai Berbcra. Somalia, so monitor the sea lanes along the southern coast of the Arabian peninsula aad the east coast of,

Franca tutiontroop* and air units at Djibouti at ihe southern cad of the Red Sea oa the Strait of Bab-el-Matsdc!a. Djibouti serves at the horn, port for the French Indian Ocean fleet ofhe second largest Western naval force us the Indian Ocean

Factor.

The Red Sea I* becoming an Increasingly important iransit route for oil Both Saudi Arabia and Iraq look to the Red Sea loecure alternative route for oil ciporis from the Persian Gulf. The naw Tram-Peninsula Saudi pipeline terminating at lhe port of Yanboillion barrels par day, and thb will soon increase to ihe pipeline's capacity5 tnillsori barreb per day. Riyadh plans to double lac capacity by the. Moreover, the Saudis have

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agreed with Iraq to finance constructionipelineapacity ofillion barreb per day to carry crude oil from Iraq's southern oilfield*erminaj near Yanba. This pipeline could bc In cperabon4 If ike second Saudi tee tnrf 'J* Iraqi line are completed. Rod Sea tcrmirult ccuM furo'th doseillion barreb per day of oillminJu^sear day move through the Persian Gulf and tbe Strait af Hormut Riyadhrillion-barrel oilaeil.ty on the Red Sea near Yearns.om and technical considers tfcma will delay completion Haula Saudilsoetrecherrvical ccmpJe. at Yaubo. which win maka thaiajor product eaport cenierfJttsjsM

The Red Sea batia alto furnishes oil of iu own. Egypl'sportani oilfields are near the upper Red Sea in the Gulf of Sues, and oilnder way along the Rrd Sea coast of Egypt and Sudan >aatsj|

esult, the Gulf of Sue* and the Sua Canal are regaining themportance they held beforeclosing of the Caaal7 sad the near-Hfflultaneout appearance of lupcusnker* which made economical ihe shipment of Persian Oulfoil around the Cape of Good Hope. Preaent oil shipmeau through the Canal areands per day Sfcipmems through the Suet-Modi terra neat (Sumcd)create* Egypt from the Gulf of Saei to the Mediterranean coast near Alciandnaoiaily owned by Egypt andajoreoumrsea-are at the prpUincs capacity ofillion bands per day. Egypt hat enlarged the Caaal to permit transit by larger oil tankers,bcusaioo of further expanding the Canal as wdl as increat.Bg the capacity of the Sumcd pipeline. Cairo's revenue* from theestimated SI billion thb year, about one-tenth of foreign earnings-will gruw steadily: Sumed pipel!:eestimated ITS rmflioo lib year-can also be cpeeled a. ,be a* more ot! is moved throuth the Red Seatstatsasj

Seeftf

Soviet aod if.iid Tureen

Tbe signing or*rwpua-Soytfl Yemeni Pact in Aug tut bai intcnsiiTad the radial, So-rttt-hacked threat to pro-WeMern couftlrlaa in thaRed Sea area. Th* Tripartite Pact cap* Soviet eiToru7 to bring about clcaer ties bci.ccts South Ye-nen and Ethiopia and. mora recently, Ethio-pia and Libya. The Pactill tic EihMpu mora cIomIv to theo ease EihiopUn-backcd military and terrorist activity by th* Somali Salvation Front af tmst th* ro-eraroerit of Somali President Sud^^B

South Ycrso euotu-ucs ta support insurgents aiainst ih* North Yeife-ts Government of president Safin. Libya mounu lubvenlve activities aiainst President Nimeiri of Sudan, and Ethiopia may be considering support to Sudanese dmideoU. Externalay heighten polilii i! tensions within Djibouti fgafgj

That radical lUies act in Use shadow ef an imtsresnve SovKt miliury presence. The USSR has furnished lut-uut-sl millury aid and iraioing to South Yemen nee* thend to7 (the Ogiden war* at present, there areoviet military advisers in each lountrr. Soviet military aircraft regularly suepon to patrol the Indian Ocean, and Soviet warships from ,he Indian Ocean Squadron mike regular use of Aden port and of the anchorage at Sooth Yemeni Soccers island. In Ethiopia. Soviet aircraft use Asmara for reeorsnaissarce fllgbu. and the Soviet Navy regularly vssrts Oahtak island in the southern Red Sea. Sonet warships transit ih* Sum Canal en route between th* Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. Thisbad. air. and naval presence suads in ccnirast to the Sovici failure ioomparablee In or around the entrance to ihe Pcrsbn GuMjfJJp

The Soviets could substantially improve their overall miliury posture in this reiion by introducingsmall numbers of men in selected lypes of military uniu. The deployment of mo or three Sovietof combat aircrnfi to Ethiopian or South Yemeni

'mwilteTrmnn*im-.

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airfields, for example, could proridc air defense and ground support capabilitiesange ofuch more sutuincd buildup would be necessary for Soviet forces to match tha kind of forcea th* United Stale* and iu allies can bring into tba

A Red Se* Scraiegte Csvaanawf Thes* threau giv* several Arab countries,uka In Red Sea security. Egypt. Sudan, and Saudi Arabia expiieiUy reeognia the strategic Import. ofta* regvoa. All three countries see Soviet activities in the Middle East as designed to weaken pro-Western rove rr meets ind gais contra) of tbe strategic sea lanes aad Persian Gulf clfieMs. Cairo, Khartoum, and Riyadh also believe thai ibe Tripartite Alliance of South Yemen, Ethiopia, and Libya waa probably instigated by th* Soviet Union and pursues ilrnilar objectives toSR gs-gsg

Jordan'sistrust of Soviet goals has been strengthened by Moscow's rtrong support for Syria. Despite its recent purchase of arms from tbe USSR, Amman has workedml Soviet influence in th* Persian Gulf and the Yemeni and is sensitive to any threat to iu trade route throurh the Gulf of Aqaba.

Most dramatic. Iraq hai been forced to recognUe corrumountcrtau with its traditional rivals, the moderate Arab countries. Evenaq dots not border on ibe Red Sea. iu war with Iran hai mad* Ihe Red Sea ao important afcernaiive routemports. Baghdad has received largeof civilian and miliury supplies from Jordanbn and Saudi Red Sea pceti and is pursuing several road and rail rrojecu-as well as th* oilSaudi Arabia. Jordan, and Syria. No matter bow iheends. Iraq willu coeteod with iu loogsundtng strategic proWem-lran'i ability loeutrade lifeline through the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hermut These military and cccuiobl. tives for rapprochement with ibe moderate Araba coincide with an cslringemenl from theprompted by th* Soviet cutoff of supplies to Iraq during ihe war as well is Iraqir Soviet etpanslonism in Ihefrom Ihe radical Arabwhich refused to supportellow Arab country, against IranVgafga

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Regional ctopcriuon would offer import, ot milicary benefiu lo each country, particularly Egypt and Sawdi Arabia. All of ibe Arab countries involved0 limit Soviet and radicalAl iha same time, separate military problem, make ibe Red Seaeece4aryeoruiekrationfc*ea*htf '

With iu major foroca deplored lootential Israeli aiuck icreu lhe Sicaiotential Libyaa thrust from lhe west. Egypt hato guaid Red Sea routes Cairo has no planstroog aaral pmcoce in tt< Red Sea. Morcorer, it lack, tberoject or rauppty forces om long dUtancca. Egypt would respond io Libyan adveniur-iseaat aa Irrrasaoa ofbyirect attack acrosa the Egyptian-Libjran bordcrjaiher than by confronting Libyahirjj o BJftg

Althoughale Saudi Ar.bia has concentratedardieg iu cat terneasures .ucb as rormaiion of the Gulf Ooporaiion Coancil and purchase of Ibe US AbaaoBcrr* about iuseacoast by bcg.nrung coa-nruction of naval sutiont and ihip repair facilities at Jkldah on the Red Sea aa well at at Jubayl on the Gulf. Sead. oil reveoues cocld help Egypt develop lufficient force.rotect the Red Sea. The Saudis presumably ts* the potcntu. military advantage, ia cooperating with Egypt ia naval training aadg. with Egypt concentrating on the northern half of lhe Red Sea and Saudiiu base aloa tbe southern ta.'fjpsj

Saudi Arabia could also strengthen air defense of the southern Red Sea by saiftiag AWACS coverage from the northeast ar^proschuahc country to the souih. weat approaches.edepto/rnent would bu tupported by Oman, which nat long argued that Soviei.burked South Yemen is iha most serious ihreat to ihe security of the Arabian peninsula. Any such ttnft would depend on the course of tha Iran-Iraq war

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aod oa Saudi juflgmeau of iheir fctBre reia taoaa

well ti on discussion* trith tha

fgjg will remain cat ibag'

The mlllury and flnaoctal it rains of the war -illthat for the foreseeable future Iraq is uaJikelysupport lor Red Sea

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Two major political obstacles would make ittriniljte common iccurity coacere* Into effective 'ccoperatkui tuikaa Soviet and radicalmore threatening .Can at

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traditional "nit foria the northern Persian Gulf. Riyadh took advantage of the Iran-Iraq war to esublish the Gulf Cooperation Coundl. whichboth Iran and Iraq. Whale the Ssadia welcome Iraqi increased economic ties with Riyadh and other tnoderate slates, they are stilt uncertain about their song-term relation* with BegE

Sccttriiy ccorxration conld also be undercut byover the proper US military role in thehe related issue of iha Arab-Israeli oorJliet, Egypr-backed byS^ponsored nrategic eonseatut to limit Soviet influence. Both countriesigh level of US military aid sad

puthrd Tor lobsuntial US

Urge miliury ind commualaUooibe RcC Sea port of Rti Riui. Ia effort, Egypt aadnoe that pre-Western oounirieaS rniliury presence lo counlir lha presence of Soviet and Soviet Bloc miliury advisers in South Yemen, Libya, and El biopia. Moreover. Cairo and Khartoum defend the Catnp David Accords, which help both ccuniric* cement their reutioeoaip with the United Sutes and whicb guarantee the return of the Sinai to Egyptfl

Jordan fcart aa attack from what it cceaudcrs aa ir.crcaiingly aggtcuive Israel as much ai itonflict with Sernct-armcd Syria orn ihe southern Red Sea baiin. Amman's recent purchase ol air defease eqeepment from the USSR was designed to introduce aome balance into iu arms supplywith the Unitedto avoid crUI-cum from radical Arab sutea and to avr/id the restrictions that (be United States has placed oa deployment of weapons sold to JordanflBj

Iraqestern miliury presence in the

region because it aimseadership role la Use Gulf.

Ihe Arab world, and tbs Nonaligned Movement.

Riyadh, Amman, and Baghdad all charge that tbe Camp David Accords cannot produce aArab-Israeli peace settlement', all three countries cmieite Egypt for not pushing Israel hard enough on West Bint andionomy

Saudi Arabia, Jo-"dan, and even Iraq might eeoperaia with Egypt and Sudan if Soviet and radical activities threatened their nsiional interests directly. Such ac-lions mightajor buildup of Soviet miliury forces toebellion in South Yemen oror to threaten or coerce sutes close to South

_.iratcnca - uuaof Bab-el-Mandeband pcrhapa of the southern Red Sea; or an ouster of Nuneirturn to tbe leftaa sjaansa

Such development" could drive borne to Riyadh. Amman, and Baghdad tbeir increasing suae in Red Sea security andleast for alongstanding Arabramatic change in the present regional balance of forces could lead Egypt and Saudi Arabia to recall that they overcamegoniims during the period between the war wita Isnel3 and the Camp David Arxordsraq has moved far enough from iu dogmatically radical suncc ofndhat cooperation with Saudi Arabia and even with Egyptommon mihury threat seemi plausible. Baghdad has dispUyed iu pragmatism by refrainingcntiaiing growing Oman! miliury ties with the United Sutes because Oman has supported Iraq oa several Usuea during the Iran-Iraq

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