New Agreement Extends U.S. Military Presence in Qatar

Under the deal, American forces will retain a presence at Al Udeid Air Base for the next decade, according to media reports.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin greets Qatari Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah after arriving at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on December 19, 2023. [Courtesy: Department of Defense]

U.S. military forces will retain a presence at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar for the next decade, according to a report.

Home to more than 10,000 U.S. troops, the air base southwest of Doha is a hub for U.S. Central Command operations and the largest American military base in the Middle East. The new agreement, which has not yet been announced publicly by the Biden administration, has been confirmed by numerous defense officials, CNN reported.

News of the deal with the major non-NATO U.S. ally was also confirmed by Reuters.

Last month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin traveled to the Middle East, where he met with leaders from Qatar, as well as Kuwait, Bahrain, and Israel. During the visit, Austin praised Qatari defense leaders for making new investments at the air base.

"I especially wanted to be here…to share that Qatar and the United States will formally take steps forward to expand and reinforce our bilateral defense relationship," Austin said. "We'll do this through Qatar's commitment to contribute significant resources to increase capabilities here at Al Udeid Air Base, and that will support both of our forces for years to come." 

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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