Is Bahrain Next?

Photo credit: Al Jazeera

Photo credit: Al Jazeera

Like perpetual war? No? Then stay out of Bahrain.

The small kingdom in the Persian Gulf has seen no small amount of turmoil since the Arab Spring in 2011. A Shiite-majority Sunni-governed country, Bahrain promises to undergo internal power struggles similar to those in Iraq. It also looks to be a battleground in the greater Sunni/Shiite rift between their respective power centers, Saudi Arabia and Iran. We’re already seeing some terrorist attacks by Iranian-linked groups.

Unfortunately, this all could easily become America’s problem. Beyond another Mid-East stabilization project/intervention excuse, Bahrain is also home to a major U.S. naval base near Juffair.

I’ll spare you the lengthy, in-depth analysis in favor of a quick possible sequence of consequences. U.S. invades Bahrain and invariably sides with the Saudi-backed powers that be, ensuring a long insurgency by the Shiite-majority population. This increased military presence could easily spark a war with an already-twitchy Iran. As if that weren’t bad enough, think of the implications of taking on one side of a bitter regional power struggle. The potential end result of a Bahraini intervention? Another generation of war.

Is Bahrain just another battlefield in the greater, continuing Arab Spring? Or is it a future smoking crater senselessly claiming thousands more American lives? We had better start thinking long and hard about it right now.

Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela
Editor at The Desert Lynx
Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx. He is also the founder of the Rights Brigade, a mover for the Free State Project, and a martial art instructor.