US Boosts Middle East Alliance (Andrei Akulov, Strategic Culture Foundation)

05.05.2013 07:30

Since the shah’s fall and the following taking US embassy staff hostage in 1979 the United States has maintained significant military presence in the Persian Gulf. At first glance, the picture is different now. With the naval presence diminished, the US has withdrawn from Iraq and is to leave Afghanistan. This February the US announced that it was withdrawing one of its two aircraft carriers from the Persian Gulf to curtail the costs. The reports are coming on the plans to relocate the Fifth Fleet from Manama, its current home port. Taken together, these developments are viewed by some as changing posture in the region against the background of leaving Iraq and Afghanistan, reduction of energy imports, the fiscal cliff and the Asia pivot. Along with that, it’s clear Washington has not lost interest in the Persian Gulf or the Middle East. It just shifts its policy to leaning more heavily on its allies to ensure regional security.