US Renews Security Agreement with Qatar

The US and Qatar have renewed their defense cooperation agreement, which governs training, exercises, and other “cooperative activities” between the two militaries, said Assistant Pentagon Press Secretary Carl Woog in a statement. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Qatari Minister of State for Defense Affairs Gen. Hamad bin Ali Al-Attiyah signed the agreement on Dec. 10 during Hagel’s six-day trip to the Persian Gulf region. After the signing, Hagel visited airmen and troops serving at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and combined air and space operations center at Al Udeid AB, Qatar. Hagel publicized his visit and remarks, lifting a DOD gag rule on the facility’s location. For years, media organizations have had to sign non-disclosure agreements regarding the CAOC’s location at Al Udeid, noting only its location in “Southwest Asia” due to Qatari sensitivities. A senior official traveling with Hagel said his public acknowledgment of the base’s role in regional security is part of an effort to raise the visibility of US-Qatari cooperation with allies, with both nations wanting to “reassure our allies and our partners.”