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Old 07-02-2021, 09:37 AM
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Arrow US military shifts Army basing from Qatar to Jordan, analysts say move could provide

US military shifts Army basing from Qatar to Jordan, analysts say move could provide leverage against Iran
By: J.P. Lawrence - Was Is Boring News - 07-02-21

This June 14, 2021 photograph shows the now-drained pool of at Camp As Sayliyah-Main, Qatar, that the U.S. Army closed along with its two other installations, Camp As Sayliyah-South and Falcon 78, pending their transfer to the host country. Military and civilian guests to the Defense Department’s Rest and Recuperation Pass Program located at CAS-Main from 2002 to 2011 had access to the pool. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Neil W. McCabe)

J.P. Lawrence

The U.S. has closed sprawling bases in Qatar that once stored warehouses full of weaponry and transferred the remaining supplies to Jordan, in a move that analysts say positions Washington to deal better with Iran and reflects the military’s changing priorities in the region.

Military leaders shuttered U.S. Army Camp As Sayliyah-Main last month, along with Camp As Sayliyah-South, and an ammunition supply point named Falcon, an Army statement last week said.

Camp As Sayliyah was known among many service members for its Rest and Recuperation Pass Program, which gave some 200,000 deployed troops a four-day vacation. The program ran from 2002 to 2011 and offered travelers up to two glasses of beer or wine a day, along with golf and beach trips.

The camp also served as a forward staging area for U.S. supplies in the Middle East, with 27 warehouses storing tanks, armored personnel carriers and a variety of equipment, the Army statement said.

Supplies from the three bases, as well as a support mission based there, are now part of Area Support Group-Jordan, a U.S. Central Command statement said.

Closing the bases and moving the mission to Jordan could benefit the U.S. in potential disputes with Iran, said Kamran Bokhari, a national security and policy expert focusing on the region at the Washington-based Center for Global Policy.

The Biden administration has signaled a desire to negotiate a deal with Iran to ensure the country does not develop nuclear weapons. The Trump administration pulled out of a multilateral deal signed in 2015 with Iran, calling the limits on Tehran inadequate.

Moving U.S. troops to Jordan decreases the threat of rocket attacks in the Gulf region from Iranian-backed militias. The threat of missile strikes against U.S. troops like last year’s attack on al Asad Air Base, which left more than 100 injured, is an important tool in Tehran’s negotiating strategy, Bokhari said.

“You want to be able to deny the Iranians that leverage, in a negotiation,” Bokhari said. “If they’re signaling that they have your bases in missile range, that decreases your leverage behind the scenes.”

The closure of the three bases comes as the U.S. shifts resources throughout the CENTCOM area of responsibility. This includes the U.S. drawdown from Afghanistan after 20 years there, as well as the withdrawal of eight Patriot antimissile batteries from Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

As troops leave Afghanistan, the stated U.S. goal has been to shift its military focus from counterinsurgency and conflicts in the Middle East to competing with powerful near-peer rivals, such as China.

“It’s about, ‘let’s start pivoting to Asia,’ for real this time,” said Andrew Watkins, a senior Afghanistan analyst at International Crisis Group, a nonprofit think tank based in Brussels.

The U.S. will continue to use Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, a basing hub for CENTCOM, last week’s Army statement said.


Personal note: Shifting countries and being close to borders also give's the US the opportunity (and/or the ability) to come to the aide of those countries in the general proximity. Just a notice to the bad guys that the US is just still around the corner should they be needed.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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