Transnational threats are issues that are currently being discussed across the world. The issue has raised concerns among the policymakers in every nation across the world. It is because of its enormity in the modern world especially its ability to make or break international relationships. Traditional and non-traditional threats are the common types of transnational threats that countries face on a regular basis. When the threats are non-military in nature and can be rapidly transmitted as a result of communication revolution and globalization, then this type is known as non-traditional threat. Some of the characteristics of this type of threat are that it is more intimidating to a country compared to the traditional ones (Jha, 2017). It is because proper leadership skills become essential to develop international cooperation and also inward cooperation. The aim of national leadership would be to execute political and internal socioeconomic reforms in the country. It is also important to mention that non-traditional threat cannot be resolved using military deterrence, short-term political arrangements or diplomatic maneuverings. The best method of handling this type of threat is through non-military means. In the article titled “The Gulf Monarchies Beyond the Arab Spring: Changes and Challenges,” the transnational issue discussed by the authors Luigi Narbone and Martin Lestra is a non-traditional threat. The topic discussed in Narbone and Lestra’s article is non-traditional security threat because it challenges the well-being of the people in Gulf Monarchies which is brought about as a result of changes in resources and this is analyzed below.
The best way in which to understand the aspects of non-traditional threats is by identifying its main features. In this case, the topic addressed is non-military in nature and the economic issue affecting the Gulf Monarchies has spread rapidly throughout the country and neighboring nations as a result of globalization and revolution. It means that the consequences of the economic issue is not brought about by war or military power like in the traditional threats but because of poor decisions made by the country. It means that the human security and stability of the nation and those that depends on it is threatened by the poor economy in the Gulf Monarchies. The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) comprises of six monarchies which makes it a global and regional actor. Over the years, the Gulf managed to grow significantly in regards to regional politics and economy because it was the leading producer of oil. Through this, Gulf States majorly influenced several events beyond its territory and region.
It is evident through the E-book that Gulf is no longer enjoying the economic freedom that it used to in the past. It is experiencing a major security threat in regards to sustainability of its economic model. At the same time, the Gulf States are experiencing security threats from the other states that had failed in their roles such as Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Yemen. However, the author did not focus on the security threats instead addressed the economic instability in the state which has ended up affecting its relations with the European Union (EU) and MENA regions (Narbone & Lestra, 2015). All these are potential characteristics that describe non-traditional threats which the authors have addressed in the article.
A research conducted by Human Rights Watch (2017) revealed that non-traditional threats are developed as a result of complications accruing from the negative side of globalization and the market economy and these are some of the main issues that Narbone and Lestra (2015) have addressed on the article. The Golf Monarchies were known for their good cooperation with the European nation particular in business and also in an attempt to restore back order in the parts of the world that is troubled. However, the poor economic situation in the Gulf has led to geo-political confrontations which have heightened the dimensions for possible divide. At the same time, Gulf decided to swing towards the Asian nations as a result of its declining relationship with major traditional powers such as Europe and United States. Gulf relation with other neighboring countries like Venezuela and Iran is also in a fiscal crisis as a result of the poor
Globalization also enabled Gulf States to accept several migrants from Arab, Palestin, Yemen and Saudi Arabia (Narbone & Lestra, 2015). These migrants makes the largest population in the Gulf though the government made a mistake of not giving them citizenship thus they remain as migrants. The mistake that the Gulf States have made that turned out to be an economic threat is resorting to importation of labor. However, these migrants who are being imported to other parts of the world are key the key to instrumental economic building of the Gulf. In the end, the states began to experience human capital deficits leading to poor economic performance. The worst decision was also excluding the noncitizens in the state from taking part in political, economic and social process. The noncitizens comprise of the largest number of people in the Gulf thus excluding them from these major events in the country became a threat to its performance.
The other characteristic that shows the topic addressed by the authors is a non-traditional threat is the economic crisis in the Gulf challenging the well-being of the people in the states. According to Narbone and Lestra (2015), the cutting of the oil prices in the Gulf not only affected the large industries but also the consumers. The loans which were to be acquired by the industries were utilized as tariffs since the number of consumers had increased. Only the rich people in the country managed to have higher levels of consumption. Though the health and education services in the states were protected, the construction industry was most affected. Tens of thousands of the contractors in the Gulf went bankrupt which ended up reducing capital and investment levels. The economic model in the Gulf therefore deteriorated.
UAE best response to the threat
It is crucial to respond to each of the non-traditional threat that may impact the ways in which a nation performs economically. The solution should correspond to the resource and economic needs while at the same time ensuring the well being of the citizens. The best way in which UAE can respond to the Gulf threat is by ensuring that the states come up with new fiscal patterns. It can take part in the reform debate with the Gulf Monarchies to identify ways in which the prices of oil can be regulated in a way that will positively impact the economy (Narbone & Lestra, 2015). For instance, it can propose for the Gulf to adjust the domestic energy prices which are currently lower than the global levels which has resulted in large scale consumption rate and fiscal costs increase. The other suggestion is adjusting industrial consumption prices which are controlled by the rich household leaving the majority of the poor population to suffer.
UAE can also propose evaluation of the stock market whereby public assets which are considered to be non-essential are sold off to regulate the market operation. As money moves in the country through the market, the possibility that the lives of the poor household will change is high (Fearon & Laitin, 2006). If this happens, they will be in a position to spend enabling them to take part actively in economic development leading to growth of Gulf state. Another major proposal that should be made to Gulf Monarchies is to conduct tax reforms which aid in the ways in which business operate in the country. It can also decide to open its markets to other countries by lowering the tax of entry to attract many more investors in the nation which will help in resolving the economic threat. Open labor markets have been found to be essential in building a nation both economically and politically.
It is important that the monarchies not forget the migrants who play an important role in building the Gulf States. Rather than resorting to massive importation of labor, it should allow the migrants to get involved in the economic development of the states. Through this, there will not be any deficits in the country in regards to human capital making the nation economically strong and competitive. By allowing the lowest households to take part in the labor market or economic participation, it helps in improving the standards of living which is used by economists to measure development in a country. In regards to globalization, UAE can ensure that the Gulf Monarchies changes the ways in which it relates with superpower nations such as US and Europe since they play a crucial role in helping in resolving the non-traditional threat in the states.
Fearon, J. & Laitin, D.D. (2006). Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States. International Security 28 (4), 5–43. Retrieved from http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/10.1162/0162288041588296
Human Rights Watch. (2017, Feb 03). Raising awareness about non-traditional threats to human security. Retrieved from http://humannationalityvn.blogspot.co.ke/2017/02/raising-awareness-about-non-traditional.html
Jha, M. (2017, Apr 17). Does non-traditional security threats need to be re-defined? Indian Defense Review. Retrieved from http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news/does-non-traditional-security-threats-need-to-be-re-defined
Narbone, L & Lestra, M. (2015). The Gulf Monarchies Beyond the Arab Spring: Changes and Challenges,” the transnational issue discussed. Europe: European University Institute