Monday, November 23, 2009

Our Interesting Relationship With the Gulf States

The National is reporting that the strong US military presence in the Persian Gulf is acting as a disincentive to many gulf states to invest in defense, because these states believe that US interest in regional stability is all the defense they need.

The UAE is investing in America's THAAD missile defense system, and had previously suggested that a coalition of gulf states could fund a regional defense system. Apparently, some gulf states are hoping that US deployment of the sea-based Aegis system to defend carrier groups in the gulf will effectively protect their borders as well.


  1. This is surprising -- I thought THAAD had been cut or would be phased out soon.

    "The US is responsible, more or less, for the whole region on the military level" sounds about right. I fail to find that objectionable though.

    Here's another article on the same topic that I found interesting:

  2. As I understand it, THAAD is still under development, but the Army has greatly scaled back its plans for deployment (e.g. not in eastern Europe). I'm sure it will still be deployed about the continental US.

    Also as I understand it, THAAD is part of three tier missile defense shield. The lowest tier is Patriot II, THAAD is the middle tier, and Aegis is the top tier. I don't know enough about Aegis to be sure that I'm characterizing the entire system accurately, but this is my best understanding.

    There is no question about the US as policeman in the the Persian Gulf. It is the case. I don't stay abreast of fleet movements, but last I heard we had TWO carrier groups in the gulf. That's a big deal. Remember, these days there aren't very many countries (even among western nations) who have deep water navies and active, fully-equipped carriers.