The National Security Concepts of the Arab States and Iran

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The National Security Concepts of the Arab States and Iran

Dr. Ephraim Kam

~~Description of the Seminar
The seminar is aimed at understanding and analyzing the conceptual framework of security concerns of the Arab states and Iran, their security considerations, as well as their approaches to cope with these concerns and to advance their strategic interests. In this context, the seminar will also examine the strategic strengths and weaknesses of the Arab states and Iran in the security arena, the way in which they perceive the threats directed at their security, and the answers they try to develop in order to minimize the threats. The seminar will deal with the main components of security concepts shared by most of the Arab states, as well as with the unique components of the main Arab states and Iran.

The seminar will be divided into three unequal parts:
• Introduction: components of national security concepts
• National security considerations of the Arab states
• National security concepts of the main Arab states

The requirements of the seminar
The requirements of the seminar are three:
• Participation in all the seminar's meetings. Students are expected to come to class prepared, and ready to discuss the various issues on the basis of the readings for each meeting. An unexplained absence for more than two meetings might endanger the student's participation in the seminar.
• During the second half of the seminar the students will present their initial analysis of their research. They can choose between two options:
A.  Oral presentation in the class of the main conclusions of their seminar research paper. The presentation will take about 20 minutes, to be followed by discussion.
B. Personal Discussion, between the student and the instructor, regarding the structure and the analysis of the research paper.
• Submitting a research paper. Students are required to write an original research paper on one of the issues suggested later. Each issue can be chosen by only one student, and therefore first come first served. However, students may suggest their own topics, which are not included in the attached list, if the instructor will confirm them.

Research papers will be 30-35 pages. Students are asked to choose their topics no later that the fourth meeting. It is recommended that they submit, until the sixth meeting, an outline of the paper, which may include a general explanation of the paper, tentative highlights and initial bibliography. Students are invited to consult the instructor at all stages of choosing and preparing the paper. The final paper will be submitted according to the timetable of the Political Science Department / Security Studies.

The final grade will be based on class participation, including the oral presentation, or the personal discussion (20%), and the research paper (80%).

Schedule of the seminar

1st meeting
Opening remarks, explanations and organization of the seminar
Introductory discussion: The strategic neighborhood of the Middle East.

2nd meeting
Components of national security and security concepts
Required reading:
• Mohammed Ayoob, 'The Security Problematic of the Third World", World Politics, January 1991.
• Mohammed Ayoob, "Unraveling the Concept: 'National Security in the Third World", in Bahgat Korany, Paul Noble and Rex Brynen, eds., The Many Faces of National Security in the Arab World, (N.Y., 1993)
• Mohammed Ayoob, "Regional Security and the Third World", in Mohammed Ayoob, ed., Regional Security in the Third World (London, 1986)
• Abdul Monem Al-Mashat, National Security in the Third World, (Westview: Boulder, Co., 1985), Pp. 17 – 37.

3rd meeting
National Security in the Arab World
Required reading:
• Bahgat Korany, Rex Brynen and Paul Noble, "The Analysis of National Security in the Arab Context: Restating the State of the Art", in Korany, Noble and Brynen.
• Janice Stein, "The Security Dilemma in the Middle East: A Prognosis for the Decade Ahead", in Korany, Noble and Brynen.
• Geoffrey Kemp and Robert Harkavy, Strategic Geography and the Changing Middle East (Washington, D.C., 1007), pp. 157 – 192. 
• Hillel Frisch, "The Emerging Middle East Balance of Power", in Efraim Inbar, ed., An Arab Spring?, Tel-Aviv, 2013

4th meeting
The Threat Perceptions of the Arab States and Iran
Required reading:
• Ephraim Kam, The Threat Perceptions of the Arab States", in Shai Feldman and Ariel Levite, eds., Arms Control in the New Middle East Security Environment (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Boulder, Co., 1994).
• Ariel Levite and Emily Landau, "Israel's Qualitative Security Edge in Arab Eyes", in Shlomo Gazit., ed., The Middle East Military Balance 1993-1994 (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, 1994).
• Klaus Knorr, "Threat Perception", in Klaus Knorr, ed., Historical Dimensions of National Security Problems, (University Press of Kansas, 1976).

5th meeting
National Security in the Arab World: Main components
Required reading:
• Ahmed Hashim, "The State, Society and the Evolution of Warfare in the Middle East: The Rise of Strategic Deterrence?" The Washington Quarterly, vol. 18, No. 4, Autumn 1995.
• Anthony Cordesman, Perilous Prospects, (Westview, 1996), pp. 85-102.
• Abdullah Toukan, "Arab National Security Issues: Perceptions and Policies", in Shai Feldman and Abdullah Toukan, Bridging the Gap: A Future Security Architecture for the Middle East, (Carnegie, N.Y., 1997), Ch. 3.

6th meeting
Lessons of Wars
Required reading:
• Kenneth Pollack, Arabs at War, (University of Nebraska Press, 2004), pp. 552-583.
• Saad el-Shazly, The Crossing of Suez, (American Mideast Research, San Francisco, 1980), ch.3.
• Field Marshal Abdel Ghani el-Gamasy, The October War, (The American University in Cairo Press, 1993), Ch. 1-2.
• Ephraim Kam, "The Effect of the Six Day War on Arab Security Concepts", in Anat Kurz, Kobi Michael and Gabi Siboni, eds., Six Days, Fifty Years: The June 1967 War and its Aftermath, The Institute for National Security Studies, Tel-Aviv University, November 2018
7th meeting
The national security concept of Iran
Required reading:
• Michael Eisenstadt, Iranian Military Power: Capabilities and Intentions (Washington, D.C., 1996), pp. 1-83.
• Anthony Cordesman and Ahmad Hashim, Iran: Dilemmas of Dual Containment (Westview: Boulder, Co., 1997), pp. 121-146; 165-194; 266-311.
• Ephraim Kam, A Nuclear Iran: What Does It Mean and What Can Be Done? (The Institute for National Studies, Tel-Aviv, Memo No. 88, 2007), pp. 23-67.
• Ephraim Asculai, "Iran After the Nuclear Agreement: A Status Report, in Meir Litvak, Emily Landau and Ephraim Kam, eds., Iran in a Changing Strategic Environment, The Institute for National Security Studies, Tel-Aviv University, Memorandum 173, March 2018.
• Shahram Chubin, Whither Iran? Reform, Domestic Politics and National Security (Adelphi Paper 342, N.Y. 2002), pp. 35-70.
• Shahram Chubin, "Iran's Strategic Aims and Constraints", in Patrick Clawson, ed. Iran's Strategic Intentions and Capabilities (National defense University, Washington, D.C., 1994.
• Ephraim Kam, "Iranian Military Intervention in Syria": Strategic Assessment, vol. 20, No. 2, July 2017.
8th meeting 
The national security concept of Egypt
Required reading:
• Gabriel Ben-Dor, "Egypt", in Edward Kolodziej and Robert Harkavy, eds., Security Policies of Developing Countries, (Lexington, 1982).
• Abdel Monem Said Ali, "From Geopolitics to Geoeconomics", in Phebe Marr, ed., Egypt at Crossroads (National Defense University Press, Washington, D.C., 1999).
• Ahmed M. Abdul Halim, "Egypt's Security Concerns", in Phebe Marr, ed., Egypt at Crossroads.

9th meeting
The national security concept of Syria
Required reading:
• Michael Eisenstadt, Arming for Peace? Syria's Elusive Quest for 'Strategic Parity', (Washington D.C., 1992), pp. 1-41.
• Anoushiravan Ehteshami, "Defense and Security Policies of Syria in a Changing Environment", International Relations, vol. XIII, No. 1, April 1996.
• Abdulhay Sayed, "Overcoming Prejudice: A Syrian Perception of the Israeli Threat in the Arab-Israeli Region of Conflict", in UNIDIR, NATIONAL Threat Perceptions in the Middle East, (UN, New York, 1995).
• Itamar Rabinovich, "Syria", in Kolodziej and Harkavy.
• Eyal Zisser, "Why Has Bashar Won the War in Syria", Strategic Assessment, vol. 21, No. 2, July 2018.

10th Meeting
The national security concept of Iraq
Required reading:
• John Devlin, "Iraq', in Kolodziej and Harkavy
• Michael Eisenstadt, Like a Phoenix from the Ashes? The Future of Iraqi Military Power (Washington D.C., 1993), pp. 17-42, 67-75.
• Kevin Woods and Mark Stout, "Saddam's Perceptions and Misperceptions: The Case of 'Desert Storm'", The Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 33, No. 1, February 2010.
• Kevin Woods, Williamson Murray and Thomas Holaday, Saddam's War: An Iraqi Military Perspective of the Iran-Iraq War, (National Defense University, Washington D.C., 2009), entire book.

11th meeting
The national security concept of Jordan
Required reading:
• Samir Mutawi, Jordan in the 1967 War, (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 1-45.
• Center of Strategic Studies, University of Jordan, "Threat Perception from a Jordanian Point of View" in UNIDIR, National Threat Perceptions. 

12th meeting
The national security concepts of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states
Required reading:
• Anthony Cordesman and Nawaf Obaid, National Security in Saudi Arabia: Threats, Responses and Challenges (CSIS, Washington, D.C., Praeger Security International, 2002), pp. 1-17, 109-125, 137-151.
• Saleh Al-Mani, "Security and Threat Perception in Saudi Arabia", in UNIDIR, National Threat Perception.
• Dale Tahtinen, National Security Challenges to Saudi Arabia, (Washington, D.C., 1984), pp. 3-31.
• Joseph Kechichian, "Trends in Saudi National Security", The Middle East Journal,. Vol. 53, No. 2, Spring 1999.
• Sami Al-Faraj, The Changing Security Landscape of the Gulf (1995-2000): A Kuwaiti Perspective (Kuwait, 1995, Manuscript).

13th meeting
The national security concepts of non-states 
Required Reading:
• Hussien Agha and Ahmad Halidi, A Framework for a Palestinian National Security Doctrine (Chatham House, London, 2006).
• Yezid Sayigh, "Armed Struggle and State Formation", Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. xxvi, No. 4, 1997.
• Naomi Weinberger, The Palestinian National Security Debate", Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 24, No. 3, Spring 1995.


14th meeting
Reserve and conclusion

Suggested topics for research papers
1. The influence of wars on national security concepts of Arab states and Iran
2. The influence of inter-Arab relations on national security concepts of Arab states
3. The influence of superpower involvement on national security concepts of Arab states and Iran
4. The influence of the Israel on national security concepts of Arab states and Iran
5. The influence of the Arab-Israeli peace process on national security concepts of Arab states
6. The impact of Iran on national security concepts of Arab states
7. The nuclear (or non-conventional) factor in national security concepts of Arab states and Iran
8. Deterrence in national security concepts of Arab states and Iran
9. Offense and defense in national security of Arab states and Iran
10. The national security concepts of the main Arab states (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states) and Iran. Palestinian organizations and Hizbollah are also possible
11. National security decision making in Arab states and Iran
12. Changes in national security concepts of Arab states and Iran
13. The terror component in national security concepts of Arab states and Iran
14. The security concept of Daesh / Al-Qaeda

 

 

 

 

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