Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bahrain unrest threatens US interests

US interests could be threatened by the unrest in Bahrain, according to some Western media outlets.

The Associated Press has reported that the uprisings in the Arab world have not harmed US interests in the Middle East, but if the unrest continues in Bahrain, the US will be in serious trouble.

The Los Angeles Times said that the collapse of the monarchy in Bahrain could change the strategic balance in the Middle East because Bahrain is the base of the US Fifth Fleet.

After the invasion of Kuwait by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 1990, Washington used Bahrain as a base to backup its jets.

Bahrain and the United States signed a joint military agreement in 1971 that provides the US access to a 40-square-kilometer area of land.

The 1971 agreement was replaced with another agreement on June 30, 1977, which gave the US access to airports and the ports of Bahrain, and specifically Bahrain's facilities in Salman port, the Sheikh Issa air base, and the al-Juffair base near the capital, where the US Fifth Fleet is now based.

The commander of the US 5th fleet is Vice Admiral Kevin J. Cosgriff.

The US Navy has seven active fleets, namely the Second Fleet, the Third Fleet, the Fourth Fleet, the Fifth Fleet, the Sixth Fleet, the Seventh Fleet, and the US Navy Reserve Fleet, and six other non-active fleets.

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