The United States and Qatar are working collectively towards the common goal of a stable, secure, and prosperous Middle East. Qatar is also a vital U.S. partner on a wide range of regional security issues, a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, and provides critical basing access supporting U.S. military operations throughout the Middle East. The United States works with Qatar and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to increase cooperation on border security, maritime security, military preparedness, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism. The access, basing, and overflight privileges granted by Qatar facilitate U.S. operations against al-Qa’ida and its regional and global affiliates.
As highlighted in the September 2020 U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue’s Joint Statement, the U.S. and Qatar emphasized the vital contribution their defense partnership provides for the security and stability of the region. This strong and lasting partnership is key to successfully combating terrorism, countering violent extremism, and deterring external aggression.
Since 2003, Qatar has contributed more than $8 billion in developing al-Udeid Air Base for use by the United States, and the base is host to the headquarters of U.S. Central Command Forward, U.S. Air Force Central Command Forward, and U.S. Special Operations Command Central Command Forward, as well as Combined Joint Interagency Task Force – Syria, U.S. Central Command’s Combined Air Operations Center, and the U.S. Air Force’s 379th Air Expeditionary Wing. These contributions are indispensable to supporting U.S. military operations throughout the region.
Qatar hosts U.S. Navy ship port visits allowing for crew liberty and logistic ship resupply. Qatar also provides support to the Combined Maritime Forces Combined Task Force 152, a multinational naval partnership that conducts maritime security operations in the Persian Gulf. These missions increase regional security by providing a visible presence and deterrent to maritime crime in the Gulf.
The U.S. has over $26 billion in active government-to-government cases with Qatar under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system making Qatar the second largest FMS partner in the world (FMS cases notified to Congress are listed here). Recent and significant FMS sales include: Integrated Air & Missile Defense System, including the Patriot long-range missile system, the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System, and the AN/FPS-132 Early Warning Radar; F-15QA fighter aircraft — the most advanced F-15 in production; and AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. Each of these programs includes facility construction and extended munitions, logistics, and training support.
Since 2016, the U.S. has also authorized the permanent export of over $2.8 billion in defense articles to Qatar via the Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) process. The top categories of DCS to Qatar include: aircraft, special operations training, and fire control/night vision.
The United States and Qatar have the following defense cooperation agreements: 2012 General Security of Military Information Agreement, 2013 Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement, 2013 Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Intelligence, 2014 Defense Cooperation Agreement, 2016 Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement, and 2020 Maritime Implementing Agreement.
The United States Interagency Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) Task Force provides training on MANPADS Recognition and threats to aviation security to border security, aviation security, and defense personnel working on the front lines to fight illicit weapons proliferation. Since 2019, the MANPADS Task Force has provided MANPADS recognition and interdiction training to 14 Qatari security officials.
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter, @StateDeptPM.