U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet in Bahrain

April 11, 2011

Download Story
(Getty Images/Scott Nelson)
One of the main bases of operation for the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf is Bahrain.

Bahrain has been in the news recently for calling in Saudi Arabia and other regional troops to help crush democracy protests last month. The U.S. reaction to the violence has been tempered. Observers who criticize recent U.S. and NATO interventions in the Middle East point to the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, as the main reason the West ignores civilian killings in the Gulf nation.

Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan, explains the Fleet's significance.