Security in the RedSea: Regional Problems, Power Struggle and Terrorism

Security in the RedSea: Regional Problems, Power Struggle and Terrorism

N. Neşe KEMİKSİZ

Abstract

Serving as a crucial route for both international oil transport and trade activities between the East and the West as a critical waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea has been the subject of numerous international geopolitical calculations because of its strategic location, in addition to being a zone of competition and conflict among great powers. Although the elimination of the Soviet threat through the end of the Cold War, and developments in the Gulf region have deemphasized the military significance of the Red Sea to a certain extent, the Red Sea has begun to attract attention once again with the emergence of a new regional threat risk due to the increase of terrorist activities originating from Al-Qaeda. The USA has begun to fortify its security infrastructure in the region in order to wage war against terrorism subsequent to September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and developments in Somalia and Yemen gave rise to the deployment of foreign military forces in the region in order to combat terror and piracy. Global and regional competition, having gathered momentum in recent years because of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, initiated a race for attaining military bases and naval docks in the Red Sea where commercial and military interests are intertwined. The Red Sea has further come into prominence as the new area of the power conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Developments in Yemen have caused Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to strengthen its military presence in the Red Sea. Given the close relations between these states and Israel, as well as Israel’s presence in the Red Sea, it can be said that the Red Sea has begun to turn into an “Arab-Israel Lake”.

Keywords: Kızıldeniz, Etiyopya, Eritre,, Somali, Mısır

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ISSN: 1307-9778 E-ISSN: 1309-5137

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