ZeroHedge reported that American troops have returned to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Sultan Air Base.
Nearly 17 years ago was the last time when troops were stationed there.
The base lies about 60 miles outside of Riyadh and is at the core of America’s strategy to allegedly “deter” Iran as tensions flare up in the Middle East and the coronavirus continues to spread across the region.
The US’s previous departure from the base was due to how American soldiers being stationed there suddenly turned into a “huge recruiting device for al Qaida,” according to a report from then—Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. In the previous decade, this was an important base for American forces right after Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.
“We face a thinking enemy that is playing a real regional conflict for keeps, and they’re very good,” General John Walker, the commander of the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing at the base, said to The Wall Street Journal about the return of about 2,500 US troops to the base.
These troops are expected to man Patriot missile batteries stationed at the base, and F-15 fighter jets will be flying out of the air base.
Despite Saudi Arabia’s US-supplied anti-air defenses appearing to have failed during a drone and missile attack reportedly coming out of Yemen back in September, US defense officials claim they’re confident in the Patriot missile systems’ ability to counter future threats.
According to a WSJ report:
U.S. defense officials now say they have shored up Saudi air defenses to the extent that they could prevent an airstrike like the one in September, thanks in part to the deployment of four American Patriot missile batteries in Saudi Arabia, including two stationed at Prince Sultan. Yet defense officials acknowledge that Patriot missiles, which cost millions of dollars, are an expensive tool to parry cheaper cruise missiles or drones.
In the meantime, infrastructure at the Prince Sultan Air Base appears to be in a basic state: “At the moment, the American encampment at Prince Sultan remains a basic outpost. The Saudis have built a road to service the American section of the base, while the Americans are installing electricity for new tents, and replacing some tents with trailers,” the WSJ noted.
President Trump should start pushing back against these suggestions to send more troops to Saudi Arabia and stick to his America First proposals of foreign policy restraint
The U.S. should not carrying out other country’s defense needs.