Until now, almost all of the billions of dollars spent on arms have gone to foreign suppliers. In the future, the GCC must focus on developing a domestic base of defense manufacturing to enhance the region’s capability to address a range of conventional and asymmetrical threats ranging from terrorists, cyber attackers among others.
This will require a new vision for each country’s defense policy, focused on domestically building unmanned aerial vehicles, computer and communications systems and other strategic capabilities. These changes will reshape the GCC’s security posture to rely less on foreign suppliers and more on the homegrown capabilities of local defense industry champions. All this cannot happen overnight, but if the GCC makes a concerted effort to move in this new direction, in ten years it will have transformed its defense capability and its relationship with friends and foes.