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US Congress demands to bring allied Gulf nations under ‘Gulf Missile Shield’

Missile Shield

Paris – The US Congress has taken an insistent stand that in view of the increased threat of an Iranian attack, a missile shield should be urgently activated in the allied countries of the United States in the Gulf region. The Congress Committee has appealed to the Trump administration as well as to the ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’ about this, while also mentioning it in the preliminary draft on defence expenditure.

The “Gulf Missile Shield” is part of the preparations initiated by the United States since 2012, to counter the Iranian aggression. The then Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and Chief of the Central Command General James Mattis had discussed the matter with the Gulf countries. Subsequently, the process of building the technology and systems necessary for the ‘Missile Shield’ was undertaken in the member countries of the ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’.

Currently, the advanced radar systems and ‘Interceptor Missile’ systems have been installed in the Council’s member countries. But as the technology to connect all these systems is not yet in place, the deployment of the Gulf Missile Shield has got delayed. Qatar, a member of the ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’, has been boycotted by the other countries since the last few months. This seems to have given a setback to an important and sensitive plan like the Missile Shield.

Missile Shield

In its preliminary draft, the ‘House Armed Services Committee’ of the US Congress has appealed to the Gulf countries to unite against Iran. Iran is in possession of a large quantity of small to medium range missiles and the Gulf countries fall in the range of these missiles. Hence the draft also mentions that the member countries of the ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’ should focus on maintaining cordial political, economic and defence relationships amongst themselves, which will also prove beneficial to the United States.

Among the Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have purchased the advanced US anti-missile system ‘Thaad’, while Qatar has deployed the ‘X band Radar’ system.