Citing a general shift in US military focus toward targeting Russia and China in “great power competition,” officials say the US will be withdrawing four Patriot missile systems from the Middle East.
The systems, in Kuwait, Jordan, and Bahrain, will be sent back to the US in the next two months for refit and modernization, and then will be moved on to other locations where they can target nations that are more fashionable targets right now.
Pentagon officials are refusing to provide specifics on where these missiles are going, but talk of targeting Russia would suggest more deployments to Eastern Europe, where the US has been participating in a protracted NATO buildup against Russia.
As far as China goes, deployments would be less clear, though this might be part of a Pacific pivot that US officials have been talking up for years on end. This may mean deployments to Southeast Asia, as presumably the Korean Peninsula will not be considered with ongoing diplomacy there.