07:35 GMT27 February 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Prospects for Arab nations forming a NATO-like military alliance remain distant, despite a reported plan by the Trump administration to propose such an alliance at an upcoming summit, the private intelligence organization Soufan Group said in a report on Wednesday.

    "The Gulf countries are not a stable, unified bloc, but rather a group of uneasy neighbors with a history of intrigue and machinations against each other," the report said.

    According to published reports, the Trump administration plans to float the idea of a Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) of six Gulf nations, plus Egypt and Jordan, to counter Iranian influence in the region.

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump chat as White House senior advisor Jared Kushner is seen in between them, during their meeting at the King David hotel in Jerusalem May 22, 2017
    © REUTERS / Kobi Gideon/Courtesy of Government Press Office
    In theory, such a force would reduce direct US military commitments in the region while serving as an anti-Iran bulwark, the Soufan report explained.

    However, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have continued a "pointless and counterproductive" campaign to isolate fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member Qatar, the report noted.

    In addition, the Saudi and UAE armed forces still require US support to operate effectively, despite dramatically upgraded military capabilities, according to the report.

    The Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen illustrates Saudi and UAE military weakness, with little more than a humanitarian disaster to show for their three-year effort to dislodge rebels that control the capital, Sanaa, and much of Western Yemen, the report pointed out.

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    Tags:
    cooperation, military, alliance, Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, United States
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