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Bahrain bristles at threat to move 5th Fleet

The House passed an annual defense bill that requires the Navy to plan for a potential relocation.
A F/A-18E Super Hornet of the Strike Fighter Squadron 31, known as the Tomcatters, conducts an arrested landing onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea December 3, 2008. Picture taken December 3, 2008. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed (ARABIAN SEA) - RTR22B6Q

WASHINGTON — Congress is putting Bahrain on notice that it needs to get serious about political reforms if it doesn’t want to see 5,000 US sailors and Marines take their business elsewhere.

The House last week passed an annual defense bill that requires the Department of Defense to plan for a potential relocation of the US 5th Fleet if political tensions persist. Lawmakers made clear the provision was aimed squarely at putting pressure on the Sunni monarchy to respond to what they consider to be legitimate grievances of the majority Shiite population.

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