Burden Sharing:

Allied Protection of Ships in the Persian Gulf in 1987 and 1988

NSIAD-90-282BR: Published: Sep 6, 1990. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 1990.

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GAO provided information on the major activities of the United States, its allies, and Persian Gulf states to sustain open navigation in the Persian Gulf between March 1987 and August 1988.

GAO found that: (1) several countries have maintained a lengthy presence in the Persian Gulf region; (2) six non-Gulf countries provided direct naval support during the operation by escorting and monitoring flagged ships and helping to keep shipping lanes clear of mines, and three non-Gulf countries provided indirect support; (3) the Gulf states, which profited from the continued oil flow, also supported the effort; (4) establishing a common measure of the cost of naval operations was difficult because some countries maintained a regional presence and had ships in the area; (5) the Department of Defense (DOD) estimated that its share of the operation cost was $240 million; (6) the non-Gulf countries' contributions in burden sharing were assessed in relation to the naval assets they provided; (7) DOD reported that the operation furthered U.S. relations with Gulf states; (8) one of the objectives of the operation was to maintain the free flow of oil from the Persian Gulf, resulting in little increase in worldwide oil prices; and (9) under the International Energy Agency's program, member countries voluntarily agreed to share oil reserves.

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