The GCC’s Urgent Needs

The Gulf Cooperation Council’s most urgently needed capabilities are in the form of ballistic missile defenses, maritime, cyber, and to deal with “asymmetric threats,” said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, in a teleconference with ?reporters about the GCC Summit, which convened at Camp David on Thursday. Also to be discussed in the summit were ways of “developing the capabilities that will better prepare them to deal with the evolving situation in the region,” Rhodes said. Another State official said restocking GCC partners with munitions expended in the anti-ISIS and Yemen air campaigns “would be a reasonable conclusion” of the discussions. He would not address the F-35 specifically, except to say that there is “no single kind of arms cooperation that is a pivotal point of our discussions.” The GCC countries “have made their wishes known,” he said, and “we are accommodating their requests in an appropriate way.” Rhodes said, “We’re actually looking at a much broader menu of capabilities” to meet the “evolving threats in the region.” Vice-President Joe Biden’s national security advisor, Colin Kahl, noted to reporters that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have, or will have, more advanced F-15s and F-16s, respectively, than those fielded by the US Air Force.