Today, The House Armed Services Committee passed H.R. 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2016 by a vote of 60-2. Within the NDAA Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) was successful in introducing an amendment that would commission a report from the Department of Defense (DoD) on potential threats to members of the Armed Forces of United States Naval Forces Central Command and the United States Fifth Fleet in Bahrain. The report would assess the current state of escalating unrest in Bahrain, as well as the physical safety and freedom of movement for U.S. Personnel and their families located both on and outside of the base. The report would also look at the impact the unrest might have on future US Naval operations, and require (DOD) to create safety measures in the event that the instability in Bahrain increases.
Congress has had continued concern with the ongoing unrest in Bahrain stimulated by political repression and a lack of dialogue between the Bahraini government and its opposition, the report will evaluate the security situation in Bahrain and create contingency planning for the Fifth Fleet should the situation in Bahrain be found untenable. The Fifth Fleet, based in Manama since 1995, is home to thousands of U.S. military personnel and their families. The NDAA now heads to the United States House floor for a full vote.
ADHRB welcomes the amendment and thanks Congressman Johnson for his continued support. ADHRB continues to encourage the United States to call on Bahrain to make meaningful, impacting reforms that increase political dialogue and representation in a push for a more stable and democratic society.