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US Role in Bahrain

Bahraini government quells protests in the capital, Manama

The US is reviewing its assets in Bahrain following the rising protests in the country.  The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet is located in a port in Bahrain’s capital, Manama.  The Naval base there holds 30,000 sailors, thousands of dependents, and about 30 warships.  Bahrain is a tiny country of islands in the Persian Gulf; the biggest island being only 11 mi wide.  Despite this the US military has managed to cram itself into the corner, with ships, planes, and patriot missiles.  The base plays a critical role in providing support to all operations in the Middle East.

US Naval instalation at Bahrain

 The US government currently pays the Bahraini a little over $6 million for renting the land space, along with providing military aid.  This practice has come under recent scrutiny following protests in Bahrain over the authoritarian government.  To make matters worse, the Bahraini royal family has called in troops from Saudi Arabia to quell the uprisings.  Prior to the last parliamentary elections, the al-Khalifi family, those in power, arrested 23 political opponents.  They have kept tight control over the current internal political pressure.

Source: the Council on Foreign Affairs

The Naval Base can be found on Google Earth at: 26°14’10″N 50°34’59″E

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