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USAF Chief Wants to Unite the Persian Gulf against the Persians

Saturday 16 November 2019

DUBAI (Aviation Week) — Yesterday, at the Dubai International Air Staff Chiefs Conference, the US Chief of Air Staff, Gen. David Lee Goldfein, sought to rally participants, representing global and regional air force leaders, to unite them against common threats, with Iran being the most immediate threat to the region.

General David L. Goldfein

Despite tensions between Gulf Cooperation Council states, the Iranian missile threat requires regional cooperation as the “best shot to defend the UAE is not always from the UAE. It may be Qatar or Oman”, said Goldfein. “The region is once again threatened by a country that does not respect the sovereign borders of its neighbours”, Goldfein emphasized.

“When a missile for the UAE is en route from Iran, that is not the time to start reconciling past grievances”, Goldfein said, adding, “That time is now, today. Let us begin here at this conference.”

He cited Iran’s attacks this year on UAE oil tankers, a “defenceless” USAF RQ-4 Global Hawk and Saudi oil production and drilling facilities as examples of the current threat.

For Goldfein, Iran’s long-range ballistic missiles give targeted countries few options to respond by themselves. Single-digit minutes is the reaction time in the Gulf against a ballistic missile attack by Iran, Goldfein says. An interceptor launched from the targeted country requires a head-on collision, one of the most challenging angles for a successful kill, he says, so a missile fired toward the UAE may be easier to shoot down by the country’s neighbours.


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