US Military Aid to Bahrain


Patty Culhane: Now that shots have been fired in the name of Bahrain’s government, a key ally to the US and home to the strategically critical US Navy base, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seems to be showing some support for the Bahraini government’s position. . . .

Danielle Pletka, American Enterprise Institute: Not all of these uprisings against various dictators of the Middle East have equal implications for the United States.  I’m sympathetic to the administration.  We would like to see the Islamic Republic in Iran disappear.  I think we are less certain about the headquarters of the Fifth Fleet and the government of Bahrain.

Patty Culhane: . . . One secret diplomatic cable posted on WikiLeaks shows the US believes it does have leverage in Bahrain, a senior diplomat writing: “Bahrain’s national security strategy rests squarely on the presence here of NAVCENT/Fifth Fleet headquarters and Bahrain’s close security partnership with the U.S.  Unlike its Gulf neighbors, Bahrain does not enjoy the kind of oil revenues that might enable it to buy advanced weaponry on its own.”  So, the US provided aid to buy those weapons, from $3.9 million the year before that was written to $8 million in 2009, then $19 million [in 2010], and the request for $19.45 million this year.

This video was released by Al Jazeera on 18 February 2011.  The text above is an edited partial transcript of the video.

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