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Policy Analysis

Policy Notes 41

Middle East Maritime Security: The Growing Role of Regional and Extraregional Navies

Theodore Karasik and Jeremy Vaughan

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September 2017

A number of developments are transforming the Middle East maritime security environment, with profound implications for regional trade and security. Historically, protection of (SLOCs) sea lines of communication--a process integral to projecting power regionally--was the purview of only Great Power nations such as the United States and Britain. Today, by contrast,leading regional states, including Iran, Israel, and several members of the GCC, are increasingly active in acquiring access and basing rights and building logistics networks throughout the region. Coupled with the return of Russia to the Middle East stage, and the Chinese and Indian navies playing an ever greater role, these changes are reconfiguring the MENA maritime arena.

In this detailed Policy Note, including a comprehensive chart detailing MENA logistics by port, Theodore Karasik and Jeremy Vaughan provide an accounting of naval-basing developments in the region and recommend steps by which the United States can advance its own regional interests.




Dr. Theodore Karasik is a senior advisor to Gulf State Analytics and an adjunct senior fellow at the Lexington Institute. CDR Jeremy Vaughan, USN, is a former Federal Executive Fellow at The Washington Institute.