The defence of the Gulf has been a vital strategic concern for close on 100 years. The British first became involved in the Gulf to protect the sea routes to India and with the development of international air routes the Gulf became a crucial staging post. This book, first published in 1986, surveys the strategic issues in the defence of the Gulf from the earliest British involvement up to the Iraq-Iran war. It examines the British retreat from the Gulf and the imperial vestiges that were left behind. It considers the way in which American interests in the Gulf came to replace British interests and it analyses how American foreign policy has responded to this additional responsibility. The book also investigates the regional concerns of Gulf security and the intra-regional conflicts that have erupted in the Iraq-Iran war.
1. Introduction 1.1. The Emergence and Evolution of Security Concerns in Arabia 1.2. Origins of British Involvement in Arabia 2. Air Power and Empire in the Arabian Peninsula 2.1. The First Air-Routes: Persian Gulf and Basra-Aden 2.2. Policing and Air Operations 2.3. The Growing Strategic Importance of the Gulf 2.4. The Arabian Peninsula in the Second World War 2.5. Postwar Reassessments 3. Postwar Policy: British Retreat and Imperial Vestiges 3.1. Air Operations in Aden Protectorate 3.2. Evolving Commitments and the Oman War 3.3. The Problem of Deployment and the Defence of Kuwait 3.4. The Struggle for Aden 3.5. The Last Outpost: Oman and the Dhufar Rebellion 4. The US and Gulf Security 4.1. The Changing of the Guard 4.2. US Interests in the Gulf in the 1980s 4.3. Threats to Gulf Security: the Paradigm 4.4. Evaluating External Threats 4.5. Evaluating Regional Threats 4.6. Evaluating Internal Threats 5. US Military Options in the Gulf 5.1. US Commitment to Defend the Gulf 5.2. The Rapid Deployment Force: Origins, Evolution and Structure 5.3. Evaluating RDF Capabilities 5.4. Assessing RDF Performance 6. Gulf Security and Gulf Self-Defence 6.1. The Emergence of Arabian Nation States 6.2. Saudi Military Capabilities 6.3. Other GCC Defence Capabilities 6.4. The Iranian Revolution and the Formation of the Gulf Cooperation Council 7. Defending Arabia in the 1980s 7.1. The British Legacy 7.2. The American Intent 7.3. The GCC and the Future