The old Pentagon runaround
There are hundreds, possibly thousands of U.S. personnel — the military refuses to say how many — stationed in the ochre-tinted country of Qatar. Out in the searing heat of the desert, they fly fighter jets or fix them. They equip and arm troops headed to war. Some work in a high-tech command-and-control center overseeing U.S. air operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere in the Greater Middle East. Yet I found myself sitting in a hotel room in Doha, Qatar’s capital, about thirty miles east of al-Udeid Air Base, the main U.S. installation in the country, unable to see, let alone talk, to any of them.