US Air Force Chief of Staff calls for Gulf Arab unity to counter Iran

Published November 16, 2019
United States Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein on Saturday pressed Gulf Arab states to reconcile differences and unify military capabilities as tensions with Iran simmer. — Reuters/File
United States Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein on Saturday pressed Gulf Arab states to reconcile differences and unify military capabilities as tensions with Iran simmer. — Reuters/File

United States Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein on Saturday pressed Gulf Arab states to reconcile differences and unify military capabilities as tensions with Iran simmer.

Washington sees an ongoing dispute that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and non-Gulf state Egypt have with Qatar as a threat to efforts to contain Iran and has pushed for a united front.

“When a missile or a UAV (drone) is en route from Iran that is not the time to reconcile past grievances. That time is now. Today,” Goldfein told an air chiefs conference in Dubai.

The US blames Iran for a series of attacks in the Gulf over the summer, including the September 14 missile and drone attack on Saudi Arabia that temporarily shutdown half the kingdom’s oil production. Tehran denies involvement.

Washington has unsuccessfully tried to mediate the dispute, in which the four nations have severed political, trade and transport ties with Qatar since mid-2017 over accusations it supports terrorism.

Doha denies the charge and says the embargo aims to impinge on its sovereignty.

The United States is allied to all six Gulf states. Qatar hosts Al-Udeid air base, the largest US military facility in the region, while Bahrain is home to the Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

“No one country has everything it needs to defend itself but together we have exactly what we need for collective defense,” Goldfein said.

“We have the power to begin this right now as we face a common adversary who seems committed to malign behavior across the region.”

Emphasising the principle of collective security, Goldfein said the best chance to defend the UAE could be from Qatar or neighboring Oman.

“Neighbors to the right and to the left who by geometry-alone have a better shot,” he said.

Opinion

Diverging paths
Updated 15 Apr 2021

Diverging paths

It seems that Imran Khan is feeling the pain of the adjustment that he has had to undertake.
Judging the judges
15 Apr 2021

Judging the judges

In the end, like Joan of Arc, they were made to pay with their blood.
People to people
Updated 15 Apr 2021

People to people

By facilitating access, the governments of India and Pakistan can start to build trust and understanding between the two publics.
Hostage to extremism
Updated 14 Apr 2021

Hostage to extremism

Once again, the TLP has succeeded in bringing the administration to its knees.

Editorial

Afghanistan exit
Updated 15 Apr 2021

Afghanistan exit

Afghanistan has suffered for decades as powerful local players have refused to compromise and have insisted on hogging power.
15 Apr 2021

New census

EARLIER this week, the Council of Common Interests approved the controversial National Population and Housing ...
15 Apr 2021

With no place to go

No matter where one looks, one can’t escape the heartrending sight of scores of children of all ages begging, ...
TLP protests
Updated 14 Apr 2021

TLP protests

For the good of the country, and its image as a nation where extremism has no place, such groups must be strictly reined in.
14 Apr 2021

PPP’s formal exit

THE PPP’s formal resignation from all offices of the PDM comes as no surprise after weeks of tension and public...
14 Apr 2021

Natanz attack

AS the P5+1 and Iran try to breathe life back into the JCPOA, as the nuclear deal is officially known, it appears...