US Details Security Cooperation with Gulf States
(Source: State Dept. Bureau of Political-Military Affairs; issued March 1, 2016)
The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM), headed by Acting Assistant Secretary Tina Kaidanow, is the Department of State's principal link to the Department of Defense. The PM Bureau provides policy direction in the areas of international security, security assistance, military operations, defense strategy and plans, and defense trade.

It has recently updated the following fact sheets:

Security Cooperation with Bahrain

Bahrain plays an important role in the security architecture of the Gulf region and is a vital U.S. partner on a number of major defense initiatives. A founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Bahrain hosts the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet and supports U.S.-led military coalitions, including the current international effort against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

As follow up to the May 14, 2015 Camp David summit, we are working with Bahrain and its GCC partners to increase cooperation on maritime security, military preparedness, arms transfers, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism.

U.S. assistance enables Bahrain to continue obtaining the equipment and training it needs to provide for its own defense and to operate alongside U.S. air and naval forces. U.S. assistance also strengthens Bahrain’s interoperability for regional security and counterterrorism cooperation, boosts Bahrain’s maritime defenses against smuggling and terrorism, and improves Bahrain’s ability to deny terrorist sponsorship, support, and sanctuary in a manner that respects the human rights of its residents.

-- On June 29, 2015, the United States lifted restrictions on security assistance to the Bahrain Defense Force and National Guard that were implemented following Bahrain’s crackdown on demonstrations in 2011. Restrictions on assistance to the Ministry of Interior remain in place.

-- In August 2015, the U.S. announced an upcoming foreign military sale to Bahrain for F-16 follow-on support. This support will include equipment, ammunition, training, spare and repair parts, documentation, and the Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program, as well as other logistical and support services.

-- Through Foreign Military Financing, the United States allocated a total of $7.5 million in FY2015 in support of the development of Bahrain’s security assistance program.

-- The United States used nearly $600,000 of FY2015 resources for the International Military Education and Training program to train 100 Bahraini students. The FMF and IMET programs provide opportunities for members of the Bahraini armed forces to study alongside U.S. military personnel at U.S. educational institutions.

-- Bahrain is an important and long-standing ally on regional security issues, working closely with the United States on the counter-ISIL campaign. Bahrain is also providing logistical and operational support for countering terrorism and maintaining freedom of navigation in the Gulf region.

Bahrain has been a leader on efforts to counter ISIL’s financial network and also participates in the Coalition’s Strategic Communications Working Group, which seeks to counter ISIL propaganda and communications. Bahrain’s logistical and operational support through its hosting of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command enables the United States to lead a 30-nation military coalition that counters piracy and terrorism, and helps maintain the free flow of commerce and energy resources through the Strait of Hormuz.


U.S. Security Cooperation with Qatar

The U.S.-Qatar Security Cooperation relationship is critical to achieving shared security objectives in the region. The United States and Qatar share a common goal of working collectively to establish a stable, secure, and prosperous Middle East, partnering on a range of urgent issues, including countering the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and working to support the moderate opposition in Syria. The partnership facilitates ongoing U.S. operations and contingency planning through the access, basing, and overflight provided by Qatar.

Qatar is an important partner in the counter-ISIL coalition, and, as a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Qatar is a key partner for U.S. multilateral efforts in the region. Building on the May 14, 2015 Camp David summit, the United States is working with the GCC to increase cooperation on maritime security, military preparedness, arms transfers, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism.

Qatar is investing heavily to modernize its military to protect from external aggression and increase its expeditionary capability to participate in regional security efforts.

-- In 2014, Qatar was the largest customer of the United States for foreign military sales, purchasing more than $10 billion in advanced military equipment (Apache helicopters, Patriot missile defense, and Javelin missiles). Qatar also purchased eight C-17s and four C-130Js via direct commercial sales.

-- The United States is working with Qatar and the other GCC states to develop a region-wide ballistic missile defense capability, including through the development of a ballistic missile early warning system.

-- Qatar invested $5 billion in developing Al Udeid Air Base, which is host to U.S. Central Command Forward, U.S. Air Force Central Command Forward, U.S. Special Operations Command Forward, Combined Joint Interagency Task Force –Syria, the Combined Air Operations Center, and the 379th Air Wing.

-- Camp As-Sayliyah Army Base serves as a key theater logistics node and plays host to various Army tenants.

-- Qatar has hosted several multilateral exercises, including seven iterations of Exercise Eagle Resolve and Exercise Leading Edge in November 2015, in support of the USCENTCOM exercise program.


U.S. Security Cooperation with Kuwait

The United States and Kuwait have a longstanding relationship to promote security and stability in the Middle East. Kuwait is a key partner in U.S. counterterrorism efforts, and is an active participant in the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Building on the May 14, 2015 Camp David Summit, we are working with Kuwait and its Gulf Cooperation Council partners to increase cooperation on maritime security, military preparedness, arms transfers, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism.

The United States is committed to our shared efforts at combatting terrorism in the Middle East and working to build Kuwait’s capabilities to ensure its sovereignty, security, and independence.

-- In 1991, as part of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, U.S. military forces led a multinational coalition in expelling forces from the former Iraqi regime from Kuwait. Kuwait subsequently served as the major platform for U.S. and coalition operations in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, providing up to 60 percent of its territory. During the drawdown of U.S. combat forces from Iraq, Kuwait assisted with the removal of U.S. troops and equipment, concluding in 2011.

-- The United States provides security assistance to Kuwait through foreign military sales, as well as direct commercial sales. In November 2015, the United States approved a possible foreign military sale to Kuwait for Sniper advanced targeting pods and associated equipment, parts, and logistical support for an estimated cost of $115 million. We continue to make every effort to expedite security assistance to develop the capacity of the Kuwait military with regard to training, education, readiness, and war fighting to combat terrorism in the region.

-- Some of the security assistance the United States has provided includes infrastructure construction support services for the Kuwait Armed Forces Hospital; follow-on engineering services for Kuwait’s F/A-18C/D aircraft to ensure the operational efficiency of the Kuwait Air Force; and Patriot missiles for air and missile defense. These sales strengthen Kuwait’s homeland defense and promote security and stability for the nation.

-- The United States currently maintains 2,200 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles in Kuwait. The majority of these vehicles are prepositioned for any necessary U.S. Army operations, and the remainder is contracted for distribution to partners throughout the region.

-- The Ministry of Interior and the Kuwait National Guard have also partnered with the Embassy’s Office of Military Cooperation through the Joint and Combined Exchange Training program. This program works with local counterterrorism units via training and bilateral exercises to increase Kuwait’s counterterrorism capacity.


U.S. Security Cooperation with Oman

Oman is a vital U.S. partner on a wide range of regional, political, and security issues facing the Middle East. The country plays a key role in the Gulf Cooperation Council’s counterterrorism efforts to secure peace in the region. As follow up to the May 14, 2015 Camp David summit, we are working with the GCC to increase cooperation on maritime security, military preparedness, arms transfers, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism.

The United States is committed to helping Oman improve its security and enabling Oman to work with its GCC partners to address the complex and dynamic security challenges facing the Middle East.

-- The United States and Oman first concluded a treaty in 1833 in support of friendship and navigation, making this one of the oldest partnerships the United States has with a Middle Eastern country. The two countries established official diplomatic relations in 1972, signed a military cooperation agreement in 1980, and revised and renewed that agreement in 2010. Revisions to the original agreement provide the U.S. with access to a variety of ports and airfields.

-- The United States and Oman work closely to ensure freedom of navigation along a key naval chokepoint on the Strait of Hormuz. They also cooperate on counter-piracy, preventing weapons and narcotics trafficking, and preventing other illegal activities. In FY2015, the United States will provide more than $5 million in Foreign Military Financing and International Military Education and Training assistance.

-- Through Foreign Military Sales, the United States is providing Oman with two squadrons of F-16 A/C advanced fighter aircraft, three C-130J cargo aircraft, and F-16 A/C weapon systems — including AIM-120C-7 advanced medium range air-to-air missiles, AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, and the AGM-84 Harpoon missile; 400 Javelin guided missiles and TOW-2B missile systems; and 20 high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles.

-- These defense sales will provide Oman with the ability to defend itself against regional threats and provide opportunities to increase interoperability with U.S. forces and other allies.

-- The F-16 weapons systems and Sidewinder missiles will improve the Royal Air Force of Oman’s ability to support its developing F-16 fleet. The Javelin anti-tank weapon system and TOW-2B anti-tank weapon systems will enable Oman to better defend against an armored attack against the population base or to seize crucial oil and natural gas infrastructure.

-- The additional weapon systems will also serve as a deterrent to potential threats from regional unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles, and fighter aircraft, enhancing Oman’s homeland defense and support for regional security.


U.S. Security Cooperation with Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia plays a crucial role in maintaining security in the Middle East, due to its economic, political, and cultural importance and its strategic location. Given the complex and dynamic security challenges facing the region, including countering violent extremism from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as well as other extremist groups, the United States will continue to work with Saudi Arabia to support counterterrorism efforts and a shared interest in regional stability.

In addition, building on the May 14, 2015 Camp David Summit, we are working with the Gulf Cooperation Council to increase cooperation on maritime security, military preparedness, arms transfers, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism. Toward that end, the United States will continue to collaborate with Saudi Arabia to improve training for special operations and counterterrorism forces, integrate air and missile defense systems, strengthen cyber defenses, and bolster maritime security.

-- Through foreign military sales, the United States has supported three key security assistance organizations in the Kingdom. The U.S. Military Training Mission provides training and advisory services and administers the U.S. military cooperation program with the Saudi Ministry of Defense.

The Office of the Program Management-Saudi Arabian National Guard assists in the modernization of the Ministry of the National Guard. The Office of Program Management-Ministry of Interior supports critical infrastructure protection and public security. Since the 1950s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has also played a vital role in military and civilian construction in Saudi Arabia.

-- Saudi Arabia is the United States’ largest FMS customer, with nearly $100 billion in active FMS cases. In November 2015, the United States approved a possible FMS case to Saudi Arabia for air-to-ground munitions and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $1.29 billion.

-- In October 2015, the United States approved a possible FMS to Saudi Arabia for Multi-Mission Surface Combatant ships and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $11.25 billion.

-- In December 2011, the United States finalized our largest international defense sale in history — worth approximately $29.4 billion — to Saudi Arabia. This sale included 84 advanced F-15SA fighter aircraft and updates to the Kingdom’s existing 70 F-15S aircraft.

-- Other large programs include 36 AH-64D Block III Apache helicopters, as well as ammunition for the Royal Saudi Land Forces; 24 AH-64D Block III Apache helicopters and 72 UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters for the Ministry of the National Guard; and numerous PATRIOT air defense systems and upgrades. These sales promote our commitment to stability in the region and to Saudi Arabia’s defense development.

-- Most recently, the U.S. Government has made plans to sell Saudi Arabia 10 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters, 600 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, and more than $500 million in air-dropped munitions and ammunition.

-- As a result of U.S. security assistance, the Kingdom has foiled numerous terrorist attempts against Saudi and foreign targets, and contributed to coalition operations against ISIL in Syria. The United States remains committed to providing the Saudi armed forces with the equipment, training, and follow-on support necessary to protect Saudi Arabia, and the region, from the destabilizing effects of terrorism and other threats.


U.S. Security Cooperation with the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is a vital U.S. partner, coordinating closely with the United States on a variety of regional issues. The UAE is an indispensable component of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s counterterrorism efforts, and its contributions to regional security in the Middle East are significant and growing. Building on the May 14, 2015 Camp David summit, we are working with the UAE and its GCC partners to increase cooperation on maritime security, military preparedness, arms transfers, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism.

The United States remains steadfast in our commitment to improve partner security — standing together to defeat threats posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Al-Qaida — as well as securing other shared interests in the region.

-- Through many foreign military sales initiatives and direct commercial sales, the United States has demonstrated its commitment to supporting the UAE in the fight against terrorism and promoting regional security. In order to help support the security of the UAE, the Department of State has recently notified to Congress the proposed transfer of joint direct attack munitions and four AN/AAQ 24(V) Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures systems to provide further protection for the UAE’s Head of State aircraft against increased missile threats.

-- Additionally, the United States has offered a case for 1,000 GBU-31B/B(V)1 and B(V)3 precision tail kits, and implemented cases for 600 GBU-12 laser-guided kits with associated containers, fuses, and repair parts in order to help support the UAE’s counterterrorism efforts against ISIL and Al-Qaida in Yemen. This will help to bolster our partnership, especially for the support of U.S. forces in the region.

-- Cooperation between the UAE and the United States has been vital to supporting U.S. interests overseas. As of 2013, UAE ports hosted more U.S. Navy ships than any other port outside the United States. The UAE’s support for U.S. forces in the region has also been critical in promoting the success of our shared goals of countering terrorism and securing stability in the region.

-- The UAE has been an active participant in coalition operations in Afghanistan and against ISIL in Syria, and the UAE’s Presidential Guard uses the skills learned from the U.S. Marine Corps training funded by FMS to deploy alongside U.S. forces in places such as Afghanistan.

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