Tensions Between Qatar and Saudi Arabia Threaten U.S. Forces

(Stratfor.com) - Tensions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia began with negative press coverage of Riyadh by the Doha-based Al Jazeera satellite TV network. Another factor is Qatari support for a U.S. military campaign against Iraq. Qatar is a key U.S. military asset and will likely play a strategic role in any operations against Iraq. U.S. military planners may be hoping to turn the al Udeid air base into an operations center to replace the Combined Air Operations Center at the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. Two other key U.S. bases are Camp Al Sayliyah on the outskirts of Doha and Camp Snoopy, adjacent to the main airport in Doha. There are about 3,300 American troops now deployed in Qatar. In a worst-case scenario, Saudi Arabia might pressure Qatar to oust U.S. forces stationed there, or it might stir dissidents inside its tiny neighbor to try to destabilize the Doha regime or even launch assaults against American military personnel.

2002-07-30 00:00:00

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