Army, Navy and Air Forces from six Arab nations are convening in Egypt for a military exercise. In attendance are Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan in the exercises to take place between November 3rd to 16th 2018.
The military exercise is a sign that a military alliance proposed by Washington for its Middle East partners may be gaining traction dubbed the ‘Arab Shield’. Additionally, Morocco and Lebanon are expected to take part in the exercise but as observers.
The announcement came a little more than a month after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in New York with the foreign ministers from the six nations participating in this month’s war games plus those from Oman and Qatar to advance the idea of creating a Sunni alliance uniting America’s Middle East partners.
The formation of the alliance could robust security both in the Middle East and northern Africa despite Egypt’s skepticism about the sectarian undertones of the agenda driving the force. However, the Arab Shield is expected to increase the involvement of the member nations in dealing with security threats facing them without heavily relying on the West’s assistance.