General Charles “Chuck” F. Wald is the former Deputy Commander of United States European Command. He retired on July 1, 2006, and was succeeded by General William E. Ward.
Shortly before the September 11, 2001 attacks, General Charles Wald helped the United States Air Force open Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. At that time, this strategic decision was a very profitable move for the United States.
At the moment, the US need for strategic positions in the Middle East is higher than ever. Especially in connection with the threats from Iran.
But despite these factors, the General stands for the closure of the Al Udeid military base, if Qatar does not change its behavior and its policy towards Iran. Doha expressed its support for Iran at a time when this state is spreading terrorism, attacking US drones and foreign oil tankers. Qatar must make a choice, either Al Udeid military base or relations with Tehran.
Charles Wald adheres to the position that the United States must create alliances against terrorism and maintain its presence in hot spots. However, such alliances should be created only with those partners who share the views of the United States and do not play a double game.
In addition to concerns about US relations, the general is concerned that Qatar supports terrorist groups such as Hamas, ISIS, the Taliban. Also, this is the nation that supported the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed one of the architects of the September 11 attacks.
Charles Wald calls on the US to collaborate with like-minded countries in the Middle East, such as the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia. These states broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar in 2017, when it became clear that Qatar was linked to terrorism and asked Doha to make its choice.
And the United States should ask Qatar to make a choice. Qatar wants to maintain a military base, so this fact can be a tool of pressure.
And no matter how important this base is for the USA, Charles Wald believes that America can create such bases in other Gulf states that support the ideas of the United States on the fight against terrorism. Therefore, according to General, President Trump should say to Qatar: “The United States will remain and continue to invest in Al Udeid airbase if — and only if — you join the Gulf Cooperation Council and terminate your ties with Iran. The choice is yours. ”