Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Friday, June 10, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Pentagon spending shifts from Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar to UAE — hub for Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department has cut back sharply on the cost of maintaining U.S. troops in several Gulf Arab states.


A report to Congress said Pentagon spending has declined in at least three Gulf Cooperation Council states over the last year. The report by the Congressional Research Service listed Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar, which were said to have supported the U.S. military operation in neighboring Iraq.

The report, titled "Department of Defense Contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq: Background and Analysis," cited the sharpest decline in Bahrain and Qatar, Middle East Newsline reported. In fiscal 2010, the Pentagon maintained about $500 million in contracts in Bahrain compared to $1.9 billion during the previous year.

Also In This Edition

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.

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.