Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type

Thesis

Department

International Affairs

First Advisor

Dr. John Willis

Second Advisor

Dr. Jessica Martin

Third Advisor

Dr. Vicki Hunter

Abstract

This thesis is an analysis of how U.S. arms sales to the Gulf Cooperation Council affect the ongoing uprisings in Bahrain and of the short- and long-term implications of these weapons sales in the context of American security policy in the Persian Gulf. Incorporating academic literature, journalistic articles, government documents, and nongovernmental organizations’ accounts, this paper draws on a variety of different sources to provide an inter-disciplinary study. While the United States government has spoken out against the suppression of the protests in Bahrain, the arms agreements it executes with the Gulf Cooperation Council strengthens the authoritarian regimes that continue to suppress the democratic uprisings in Bahrain. Considering how these weapons are being used, the United States must reconsider the balance between its ideals and interests in foreign policy and refrain from providing military aid to authoritarian regimes that use such equipment to maintain their control.

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