Can U.S. help Gulf shield itself against Iran?
August 15th, 2012
05:41 PM ET

Can U.S. help Gulf shield itself against Iran?

By Patrick Cronin, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Patrick M. Cronin is senior adviser at the Center for a New American Security, a nonpartisan research organization in Washington. The views expressed are his own.

Advancements in Iranian missile capabilities are driving Gulf Arab countries to cooperate on a theater-wide missile defense system. The fear is that Iran could launch missiles at refineries, population centers, oil tankers and naval forces if conflict erupted. To deter and, if necessary, destroy Iranian missiles, the United States is championing a defense shield across the Arabian Peninsula, covering Kuwait to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

But pronouncements are easier to make than to realize in practice. Can these Gulf nations overcome their differences for their mutual protection? Is U.S. diplomacy sufficient to forge such collaboration?

The proposal occurs amid escalating tensions with Iran. Last year the International Atomic Energy Agency raised new concerns about Iran's secretive nuclear programs. Diplomacy failed to address these issues, prompting the United States and Europe to tighten sanctions against Iran's oil economy. While the Tehran regime ratchets up its rhetoric, senior U.S. officials are trying to forestall an Israeli pre-emptive attack on Iran's nuclear sites and to reassure Gulf leaders that a U.S.-led defensive umbrella would mitigate the effects of any conflict.

Click here for the full CNN Opinion piece

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Topics: Iran • Middle East

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. English

    I said, to St. Patrick, pronouncement is easier than those made by practice, when it comes to action.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply

      Arabic pretending to be English – very poorly.

      August 16, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
  2. English

    The American Soldiers aren't fool. When they said no war with Iran, who will force them?

    If (I)ran was like Somalia, the war was already started long time ago, but now, the story is .....

    August 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  3. Marine5484

    Can't our useless "allies" in the Gulf even protect themselves from mediocre military power like Iran? Gee whiz, it looks like we're going to have come through with the usual "spare tytt" policy as always! How old this gets!!!!!!

    August 15, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Reply


      August 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  4. siamak

    The arthur most be conside Persian Gulf is corect NOT Gulf or any else!!

    August 15, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  5. lee

    Western propaganda Machine with its soft power . Iran missile is not threat to regional country . These puppet country does not have any other choice without hearing order from the USA . Which is why they are to buy weapon and make such shield .

    August 16, 2012 at 5:15 am | Reply
    • J. Foster Dulles

      Thank you, lee. That was well put.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Reply


        August 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
      • Joe Collins

        Here goes another Tea Partying fool above, exibiting his Tea Party limitations!!!

        August 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
      • krm1007 ©™


        August 17, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  6. j. von hettlingen

    Would a military strike on Iran would turn out to be a mission creep? Probably not! But the internatonal outcry will be murderously loud and the longterm consequences unpredictable. Before Israel and the US hit, just take a look at Syria, which isn't as strong as Iran militarily, before they embark on the foray. One shouldn't overlook unknown outcomes, as the conflict develops.

    August 16, 2012 at 6:34 am | Reply
  7. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    The GOP solution: Start a war with Iran (totally unfunded of course). Then get the poor people to fight/die in the war while giving the rich people "no bid contracts". Thus killing two GOP birds with one stone. Then use Iran's oil to pay for the war. And when the war is over, Iran will sell us cheap oil!! Just like in Iraq!!!!! Oh wait.....never mind.

    August 16, 2012 at 9:49 am | Reply
    • English

      Agree. Let Bloomberg and other GOP go to war, not the poor Americans.

      Astonishingly, if the Poor Military refused to fight, the GOP will kneel down and the Army will be in charge to takeover the Presidential....

      August 17, 2012 at 1:12 am | Reply
  8. joe anon 1

    "Can U.S. help Gulf shield itself against Iran?"


    is the zionized u.s. going to force the gulf to attack iran.

    iran isnt going to start a war.

    August 16, 2012 at 11:00 am | Reply


      August 16, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Reply
      • hehehehe?

        Stupid jew, go and cut your Mountainous kilimanjaro Nose, to shape up. Cut your big Ears as well.

        August 17, 2012 at 1:16 am |
      • Joseph McCarthy


        August 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  9. memyselfnie

    Uhm, yes "We" can! Sending over the bat shield, with the bat signal right now. That oughtta stop those bat crazies!

    August 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  10. Faustino

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    August 17, 2012 at 3:22 am | Reply
  11. Max Robinson

    Even if US can use the most advanced shields, with asymmetric war which is Iran's approach and have demonstrated it during eight years Iran Iraq war, at the end of the day US is the main looser of the war. No matter how powerfull you are you need to learn from history and see what happened to Hitler in word war II, see what happened to Israel in 33 days war with Hezbullah in Lebenan, see what happened to British colonies all over the world were Iran was one of them, see what happened to USSR and division of Russia, and finally if US follow same patter, which is then it will finally have same future. Stop wars and military investments and start thinking in world of business and economy before you get 100% bankrupt and be in same situatio as USSR changed to Russia by falling apart.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Reply
  12. Joseph McCarthy/Quigley/LyndsieGraham/krm1007 ©™/Joe Collins/J. Foster Dulles/Marine5484

    I am a useless piece of camel dung. I post anti American, anti GB, anti semite, anti India, anti modern anything because I am a good moooooslem. I steal people's monikers because I am so ashamed of myself and post the most stupid comment. When people get angry with me, I claim insanity. I am the same guy.

    August 18, 2012 at 8:14 am | Reply

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