US Air Force
chief of staff Gen Michael Mosley told the air warfare conference in Washington
about how the US Air Force is helping to coordinate intelligence-sharing with
Gulf Arab nations as well as organising combined exercises, to make it easier
to fight together. In the conference Gen Mosley met with his counterparts from
West Asian countries to seek closer links with allies whose support America might
need if President George W Bush chooses to bomb Iran.
Pentagon air chiefs have helped set up an air warfare centre in the United Arab
Emirates (UAE), where Gulf nations are training their fighter pilots and America
has big bases. It is modelled on the US Air Force warfare centre at Nellis air
force base in Nevada. Jordan and the UAE have both taken part in combined exercises
designed to make sure their air forces can fly, and fight, together with American
air force jets.
conference was long-planned to discuss developments in air warfare technology,
and the question of possible hostilities involving Iran was fairly openly discussed.
It is unlikely, though, that America''s Gulf allies would join any US air strike
on Iran. But their co-operation will be required to allow the passage of warplanes
though their airspace. Iran''s Arab neighbours are also being prepared to deal
with any Iranian attempt to target them in return.