U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has told a security conference the U.S. intends to sell weapons to the Gulf Cooperation Council as a block in an effort to strengthen collective defense capabilities, Defense News reported Saturday.
Awad Mustafa writes the aim is for the GCC to purchase U.S. military weapons as an organization rather than individually.
Hagel told audiences at the Manama Dialouge international security conference in Bahrain that the sale is part of efforts to grow security cooperation with the region.
The defense secretary would like to consolidate the U.S. missile defense systems into GCC’s weapons.
“This is a natural next step in improving U.S.-GCC collaboration and it will enable the GCC to acquire critical military capabilities, including items for ballistic missile defense, maritime security and counterterrorism,” Hagel said.
The U.S. is also expanding its fifth fleet in Bahrain under a $580 million program, Defense News reports.