In fiscal 2010, the Pentagon obligated $273 million for U.S. military
operations in Qatar. During the previous year, the U.S. spending reached
$738 million in the GCC emirate. Another decline was reported in Turkey, a
NATO neighbor of Iraq, where Pentagon spending dropped by more than 50
percent from 2009 to 2010.
CRS, in the report dated May 13, did not specify the reason for the
Pentagon spending cuts. But the report, authored by defense analyst Moshe
Schwartz, said Washington was diverting U.S. military spending from Iraq and
its neighbors toward Afghanistan. The U.S. military has been preparing to
withdraw its last troops in Iraq by 2012.
Bahrain, host of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, was said to have served a
major role in U.S. operations in the Gulf and Iraq. Qatar has been the venue
for the air operations command of Central Command, responsible for most of
the Middle East and South Asia.
Jordan has also seen a steady decline in U.S. military spending over the
last five years. The Hashemite kingdom, which trained nearly 50,000 Iraqi
police and security forces, saw U.S. military spending drop from a high of
$366 million in 2006 to $12 million in 2010.
In contrast, U.S. military spending has risen sharply in the United Arab
Emirates, deemed as a hub for operations in Afghanistan. In 2010, the
Pentagon spent about eight times that of the previous year in the UAE —
from $293 million to nearly $2.4 billion.
The report also cited a sharp rise in Pentagon spending in Saudi Arabia,
which the U.S. military formally departed in 2003. In 2009, Pentagon
contractual obligations reached $854 million from $316 million during the
previous year. CRS said much of the Pentagon spending included training by
as well as support for U.S. troops in the region.