Addressing the ongoing tensions with Qatar, United Arab Emirates Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba today suggested that the United States needs to seriously consider relocating its largest military base in the Middle East, which is located in Qatar, as a way to “further pressure Qatar.”
The US base, the home of Central Command, is a big part of why many US officials, President Trump excluded, have urged diplomatic efforts to resolve the split between Qatar and the rest of the region before the blockade imposed against them starts interfering with America’s wars.
Ambassador Otaiba went on to try to downplay the situation, insisting that there was no consideration being made of trying to impose any sort of “military component” against Qatar, despite repeated speculation that Saudi Arabia might indeed attack them, and talk in regional state media suggesting they might impose a regime change.
A war against Qatar would be wildly complicated, and likely wholly impractical, because of the presence of 11,000 US troops deployed inside Qatar. The suggestion that the US “relocate” might then not be wholly unconnected to the comments about a military solution to the dispute, as it might free the hand of the Saudi and Emirati militaries to try to move against Qatar directly.
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