The Role of the Gulf Cooperation Council Against the Arab Spring
Writing in the New York Times, Pierre Razoux calls the Gulf Cooperation Council’s decision last month to extend membership to Jordan and Morocco an effort to defend the Arab region’s eight remaining monarchies from falling. This effort signifies the council’s fear of uprisings occurring in countries like Saudi Arabia where corruption, repression and socio-economic problems affect the youth and lead to protests. In addition, the Saudi government continues to support Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, and the regimes of Bahrain and Yemen to prevent internal instability. While some experts argue that the Saudi regime will not face protests due to its involvement with the oil industry and alliance with the Wahhabi religious establishment, many argue that the main reason the uprisings will not occur is because the regime has effectively won over the Sahwa - the powerful Islamic network that would be crucial in starting an effective protest against the Saudi regime.