On October 5th, 2021, the US-Qatar Business Council (USQBC) hosted a welcome lunch reception for Brigadier General Ali M. Al-Kuwari, The Defense Attaché of the State of Qatar in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The event was hosted at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC, and was attended by USQBC’s members and partners.
The event commemorated the strong defense and security partnership between Qatar and the United States. The defense sector has been pivotal in facilitating substantial trade between the countries with Qatar spending $25 billion in active US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) as of January 2021. In 2019 alone, Qatar spent $6.5 billion on defense and security equipment and services with US companies accounting for two-thirds of Qatar’s defense imports.
Not only is Qatar a key export destination of US defense and security equipment, the country also hosts the largest US military base in the Middle East. The Al Udeid Air Base hosts over 10,000 US soldiers and is the headquarters for the US Central Command, US Air Force Central Command, and the Forward Command Center for US Special Operations. The US recently approved a $3 billion expansion of Al Udeid Air Base, which further reinforces the long-term relationship between the US and Qatar.
With the expansion of the Al-Udeid Air Base and the dynamic defense-related business between the US and Qatar, both countries have solidified their enduring trade and security partnership. Some of the major entities in the Qatari defense industry are Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, Barzan Aeronautical, Acuity International, and General Atomics.