Author Archives: Graham F. West

Secretary Hagel Formally Reveals Al Udeid Base in Qatar

Traveling among the Gulf States this week after addressing the Manama Dialogue, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited Al Udeid Air Base outside of Doha, Qatar. The base, known inside the Pentagon as the Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC), was not classified, but its location was kept secret to the extent that […]

Secretary of Defense Hagel Discusses Syria and Iran at the 2013 Manama Dialogue

Defense officials, military leaders, and security experts gathered in Bahrain over the weekend for the 2013 International Institute for Strategic Studies Manama Dialogue to discuss security issues in the Gulf. The conference ran from December 6 to December 8, covering a range of regional issues including responses to the ongoing crisis in Syria and the […]

U.S. Expanding Presence in Bahrain as Human Rights Conditions Worsen

Recent remarks by U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert confirm the planned expansions of Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, the main operating base serving as a garrison for the U.S. Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf. This decision to strengthen ties with Bahrain comes shortly after an announcement by the Bahrain Center for […]

U.S. Considers Training Libyan Soldiers as Militia Violence Escalates

On November 16, Admiral William H. McRaven of the U.S. Special Operations Command said that the United States is currently considering a training mission to Libya. The announcement comes after last week’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, in which Congress heard testimony from government officials and expert witnesses on U.S. policy in North Africa. Security […]

Egypt-Russia Arms Deal: An Unlikely Permanent Replacement for U.S. Security Assistance

Recent high-level meetings between Russian and Egyptian officials, most notably Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Nabil Fahmy, have reportedly resulted in a preliminary arms deal signifying a resumption of military cooperation between the Cold War-era partners. Last month’s partial suspension of U.S. aid to Egypt has been criticized by many who believe the Egyptian government […]

Security Sector Reform in Algeria: Curbing the Department of Intelligence and Security

Recent reports out of Algeria suggest President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s intends to push through a series of constitutional reforms that will weaken the country’s Department of Intelligence and Security (DRS). Led by General Mohamed “Toufik” Mediene, the DRS is known to be extremely opaque and maintains significant control and influence over the country’s political system. According […]

Iraqi PM Al-Maliki Calls for Increased Security Assistance during U.S. Visit

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited the United States last week, along with a delegation including Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi. His arrival came at the end of Iraq’s deadliest month since April 2008, with 855 civilians, 65 policemen, and 44 soldiers killed. In an op-ed for the New York Times, […]