US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is making a tour of the middle east in what BBC Correspondent Tom Carver is saying is a process of “laying out the case for military action.”
The trip was arranged within the past two days at the request of President Bush. Rumsfeld will stop in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt and Uzbekistan. He will return to Washington this weekend.
Saudi Arabia has presented the United States with a serious obstacle by refusing to allow US bases in that country to be used directly in the military effort. This has created a significant obstacle, especially in terms of delivering and supply any large ground force. The carrier Kitty Hawk has been moved into the Persian Gulf to partially offset the loss of the bases.