Leadership: June 17, 2002

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With Saudi Arabia an increasingly reluctant ally for operations against Iraq (or any other Islamic nation), the U.S. is moving headquarters and support functions to more cooperative Persian Gulf nations. The United States has set up a large headquarters in Qatar, to replace the one used since the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia's Prince Sultan Air Base. A new air base has been built in Oman and former British bases there are being refurbished and used by American forces. There is already a major naval and air base for American use in Bahrain. As long as Kuwait allows American troops to operate in it's territory, an invasion of Iraq is possible. But it's a bit of a gamble, as it depends on how quickly the majority of the Iraqis turn on their government. U.S. Special Forces may already be operating in southern Iraq, long a an area hostile to Saddam Hussein's rule. It's known that the Kurds have been approached about participating in the removal of Saddam from power. With the Kurds, it's mainly a matter of working out a deal that is agreeable to them, the U.S. and Turkey (which will come down hard on any attempt by the Kurds to establish a Kurdish state, an event that could stir up trouble in largely Kurdish eastern Turkey.) 

 


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