A step towards solidarity
The objective of the drills is to test the readiness of the forces .
Do the joint military drills to take place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represent a first step towards implementing the Arab Summit’s decision to form a unified Arab military force?
Such a question is crucial, especially that the Egyptian-Gulf relations are blossoming in the best way possible since the 1973 war with Israel.
The Saudi Minister for Defence, Emir Mohamed bin Salman, visited Egypt last week and met with President Abdul Fattah El Sisi in a move regarded by some as a launch to the Arab force without having to wait for steps and procedures embedded in the Arab Summit’s decision. It is clear that such a unified force will include the Gulf Cooperation Council countries along with Egypt and Jordan, in addition to a possible few other states that are most likely to be participating in Operation Decisive Storm. Accordingly, agreeing on the military drills is a serious step towards the necessary choice of a military alliance that unifies the Arab world against the current threats.
The continuation of Operation Decisive Storm for the fourth week, and its success in eradicating the claws of Houthis, confirm that the coup in Yemen was only a kickstart to a sly scheme that aims to let the Arab countries enter a wave of chaos and terrorism. Therefore, it is not strange to find some rumours being spread by hateful forces trying to cause division between the Arab brothers and find a way for the marginalisation of the Security Council’s decision in order to intervene in the Yemeni crisis.
The quick agreement reached by the Gulf States and Egypt to carry out strategic military exercises was a necessary move, especially that Iran has sent some of its warships to Bab Al Mandeb. It is not preferable to wait until a grave threat to the security of Arab states happens before taking an action. So as not to be misunderstood, I learned that the objective of the Arab military drills is to test the readiness of the armed forces and be ready for new threats and wars that require huge mobilisation capabilities.
There are so many dangers surrounding our Arab world, and it is wrong to treat them as coincidence. If we look at the Arab map, we find that many countries are delved into chaos and unrest that still crawl to attack more stable states.
Voices opposing the high military coordination between countries participating in Operation Decisive Storm know very well that such coordination will kill ambitions of some regional powers that still dream of pseudo empires.
President Sisi was clear when he stressed on the Egyptian belief that the Gulf’s security is the same as Egypt’s security, and that it is a red line that no one will be allowed to cross. I can say that Operation Decisive Storm, which the Arab states found themselves obliged to launch for defending their existence, awakened the same feeling inside the Arab youths’ as those we felt during the sixth of October war in 1973 when the Arab countries rose up to support Egypt to free its lands occupied by Israel. Back then, Egyptians felt that they are not fighting alone, and that the Arab brothers’ stance was translated into actions and not just words.
The current situation in Yemen, and the unified Arab force, proves that any future threat to any Arab country will be faced with the same strength, and that no Arab state shall be left alone in the battle against terrorism. Arabs have become an economic and military force to be reckoned with who can defend their own countries at any time.
The nature of threats we face requires that the military drills be repeated with the participation of all countries of Operation Decisive Storm, and to complete all necessary steps needed to form a unified Arab force, especially after the League of Arab States call for its members to hold a meeting for Chiefs of Staff in Cairo during this month to discuss the decision of forming the Arab force.
Ahmed Mokhtar is the managing editor of Al Ahram Al Massai
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