PRISME/SALAM debate #1 Synthesis paper: What is the role of the arms trade between Europe and North America and the MENA region?

The inaugural workshop of the SALAM project asked: What is the role of the arms trade between Europe & North America and the MENA region, especially Gulf Cooperation Council countries? Participants explored the economic, political, and strategic roles that the arms trade is commonly said to play in bilateral and multilateral ties between countries in North America, Europe and the MENA region. They also questioned whether the arms trade delivers on these propositions. Discussions probed whether the trade successfully ensures security in the MENA region, is an efficient diplomatic tool to exert influence over partners, and/or helps improve collaboration among regional actors. Exploring these propositions from different viewpoints and through various case studies, participants highlighted the nuances within conventional narratives, debated whether they ever captured the role of the trade, and questioned if evolving conditions today require new analytical models altogether.

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