Monday, May 24, 2021

US general: As US scales back in Mideast, China, Russia may step in | THE DAILY STAR

As US scales back in Mideast, China, Russia may step in

As the United States scales back its military presence across the Middle East to focus on great power competition with China and Russia, it risks giving those two countries a chance to fill the gap and expand their influence around the Gulf, the top U.S. commander for the region said Sunday.

While traveling through the Middle East over the past week, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, who heads U.S. Central Command, fielded a persistent question from the military and political leaders he met: Is the U.S. still committed to their country and the region, and what more support can they get.

From the dusty battlefields in Syria to the rocket-pummeled neighborhoods in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, they worry that America's pivot to Asia means they will be left without the troops, ships, aircraft and other military aid they need to battle Iranian-backed militant groups attacking their people.

And if the U.S. is slow to respond, they may look elsewhere for help.....AP

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