The latest U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee report suggests the U.S. will seek to maintain its position as the only superior military power in the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf region for the time being.
Despite the troop withdrawal from Iraq, the American military presence in the area is set to expand.
|The U.S. is planning to send 13,500 troops to Kuwait as Iraq adjusts to the withdrawal of American forces.|
Americans call this strategy a "lily pad" model. The U.S. military bases scattered here and there enable the U.S. military command to hold the territory under full control, allowing an increase of military presence in chosen locations at any given time.
In Kuwait alone, where the U.S. has three bases, there are 15,000 troops stationed, including a couple of brigade combat teams and a combat aviation brigade.
Overall in the region there are reportedly 40,000 American servicemen ready for action.
The build-up of the American contingent in the region is a direct result of Washington withdrawing troops from Iraq in December 2011. The troops and military vehicles did not actually go far: many simply crossed the border with Kuwait and added to the population of the three U.S. bases that serve as logistical hubs, training ranges, and which provide support for regional operations. Besides, the territory of Kuwait is securely covered by Patriot missile batteries stationed there, a vital element of missile defense to be developed in the region, as promised by the U.S. to its allies.
If one divides the Persian Gulf lengthwise, it becomes clear that one shore is under tight Washington control, with troops stationed in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Despite the fact that the United States withdrew most troops from Saudi Arabia in 2003, the country remains the biggest American arms buyer. Some 3,000 servicemen of the 64th Air Expeditionary Group are still stationed about 20 km southeast of the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.
The U.S. continues to expand its combat-capable presence in the unstable region of the Middle East despite a declared shift of interests to the Asia-Pacific region. Heavy financing of the American contingent in the Gulf region is called to stress that America has not forgotten its Arab allies and that Washington intends to play a military superpower role in the foreseeable future.
The other side of the Gulf belongs to a nation that actually gave its ancient name to it – Iran. Since Iran and its nuclear program remain a major stumbling block in international politics, the correct answer to the question of why Washington needs so many combat-ready troops in the Persian Gulf is Iran. There is simply no other nation in the region that might pose a threat to Washington's interests in the Middle East.
The Gulf Security Architecture: Partnership with the Gulf Cooperation Council report, was prepared by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and stresses the political and economic importance of the region for the U.S. and outlines seven principles for the U.S. military to provide security in the Persian Gulf region.
Seven principles of U.S. military policy in the Persian Gulf:
1. The U.S. ensures a "security umbrella" to its Arab allies.
2. The U.S. remains a central part of the Gulf security framework.
3. The U.S. increases trade relations with GCC states to promote economic reform and diversification.
4. The U.S. preserves the "lily pad" model of military bases throughout the Gulf region, which permits the rapid escalation of military force in case of emergency.
5. The U.S. uses the GCC partners' capabilities in select defensive missions, though keeping its role as a security guarantor.
6. The U.S. provides the Gulf partners with security assistance, supports a comprehensive strategy for regional arms sales and ensures a stable security architecture.
7. The U.S. should promote the gradual political reintegration of Iraq into the Arab fold.