US Speeds Arms Buildup in Persian Gulf

US Allies Near Iran Look to Shore Up Defenses

by Jason Ditz, January 31, 2010

Obama Administration rhetoric against Iran is increasing fears of war in the region, and leading US allies near Iran to purchase growing numbers of US-made missile defense systems. The sales to states in the region total several billion dollars.

The US is also escalating its own deployment of ship-based missile defenses off the Iranian coast, as well as deploying American assets in some nations in the region. Officials say the nations where the US will deploy the systems is classified, though Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are reportedly among them.

US officials said the move was in response to a “growing missile threat” posed by Iran, but few seriously think the Iranian government would launch an unprovoked missile attack against one of its neighbors.

Such a move would rather be more likely to come as a response to a Western attack, something oft-threatened. Yet those speculating that this means an attack is forthcoming should remember that the US has used the alleged “threat” of Iran’s missiles as justification for a myriad of plans in locations that couldn’t even hypothetically be hit by Iran’s best missiles. Increased US arms sales and closer military ties in the Middle East don’t necessarily require an ulterior motive.

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