The Middle East and North Africa region has been one of the world's most unstable areas since World War II, and yet, the nations of the region have failed to develop any form of security architecture. The Arab Spring and its aftermath seemed to have opened a window of opportunity for ... certain Arab states to cooperate more-but how and to what extent remain to be seen. This Letort Paper explains why the region has struggled so far to establish cooperative security, and what obstacles need to be overcome on the way to a system akin to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Unless they are addressed, every new announcement of an alliance-be it of Arab, Islamic, Gulf, or other nature-will remain a pie in the sky. Just as the international community is yet again considering such an architecture-perhaps even including Iran-this idea and its implementation are more important than ever.
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