UAE Ambassador: US Should Move Key Base Out of Qatar

Says Move Would 'Further Pressure Qatar'

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.”

UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba

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.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.