The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a body that consists of six states that are in a regional intergovernmental political and economic union. This means that many things that happen in the gulf that involve political, economic or regional dynamics are generalized.
The major part of the GCC is the economic aspect considering the vast wealth these Gulf States possess due to their energy industries is how to govern their exports to maintain stability in these states. Another major aspect is the show of collective power towards the outside world.
The ongoing crisis between (GCC) states has put their agenda’s in peril with Qatar being threatened to be ousted while Qatar actually considering to leave the GCC.
What implication does it have on the GCC when these is such a crisis brewing amidst them?
The gulf is an unstable region and Qatar is probably the only states that has had a pretty stable and peaceful regime. With Qatar gone, it makes doing business with the GCC states less stable. No one wants that.
Estimates have put the collective losses in oil revenue by Gulf States at $890bn since 2015, leading Saudi Arabia and other countries to cut subsidies, introduce taxes and seek international loans for the first time in their recent history. Meanwhile, defence spending has risen sharply in recent years, even before accounting for the staggering $110bn deal that US President Donald Trump charmed from the Saudi regime during his May visit to Riyadh.
It’s obvious that one of the main intentions for the blockade was to warn Qatar against getting friendly with Turkey and Iran, sadly things have worked out in the opposite. While the Saudi led allies see these countries as their enemy, Qatar sees opportunity in them and has good relations. Qatar has already reoriented its trade towards Turkey and Iran, from whom it has begun to import goods that once came through Saudi Arabia.
The blockade of Qatar might continue indefinitely, resulting in a regional cold war. Having already used most of the economic weapons at its disposal, the Saudi/Emirati group have only one more option left: expelling Qatar from the GCC.
Ever since their natural resources were discovered, Qatar has proven itself to be the nonconformist member of this council which doesn’t sit well with the rest. It followed a less polarized stance towards Iran, with whom it shares one of the world’s largest natural gas fields. Qatar resumed development of the gas field last April after a 12-year lull, a move that was undoubtedly viewed with some degree of suspicion on the part of neighboring oil producers.
Judging by the harsh punitive measures awaiting Saudi, Emirati and Bahraini citizens for public displays of sympathy with Qatar – or even expressions of doubt as to the efficacy of the blockade – it would appear that these governments believe that large swaths of their populations do not support their actions.
Saudi Arabia is playing a power struggle at the cost of everything it has at stake which can be seen with their proxy wars and terrorism funding and sucking up to the US. They will further risk the lives of their citizen with in their pursuit of power while destroying the very thing that made them powerful.
The GCC is heading for some serious trouble if this is the direction it is heading in. There will be more to lose if seen collectively, but individually Qatar might actually fare better than the aggressors.