The US government is making considerable efforts to protect Americans at the World Cup. The United States military has made it plain that it is prepared to act in the event a crisis develops in the Middle Eastern nation in the upcoming weeks, given the situation in Qatar.
The tournament begins on Sunday. The United States has taken substantial security measures to ensure the situation is as safe as possible given the possibility of thousands of Americans traveling to Qatar to take in all the action.
A Pentagon official with direct knowledge of the situation said that American special operations forces are currently actively deployed in Qatar. It is unknown when the soldiers were transferred or how long they have been in Qatar. The size and extent of the force, which is already housed in a sizable air base, were not made public.
In order to be ready for any circumstances that might arise, the State Department has processes in place to cooperate with DOD assets that might be in the area, including QRF capabilities. When a crisis is developing, a military unit called the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) is frequently called upon to step in and offer assistance.
Additionally, a representative for the State Department issued the following comment regarding World Cup security preparations:
- The U.S. Government (USG) is assisting Qatar in its efforts to safeguard the World Cup, with a special emphasis on ensuring the safety of American officials, spectators, the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, corporate sponsors, media, and other Americans who will be in attendance.
- The International Security Event Group (ISEG), which is presided over by the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, is how the USG delivers this assistance (DSS). More than 17 U.S. law enforcement, security, defense, and other federal agencies are working together as part of this interagency effort to fulfill the goal of safeguarding the safety of American citizens abroad.
- The safety and security of American people abroad is the Department of State’s primary duty. On our website, we provide detailed recommendations for Americans going to Qatar and urge everyone to sign up for Consular STEP.
- Overall World Cup security is the responsibility of the Qatari government. Leading up to and during the World Cup, the US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service is collaborating with Qatari government law enforcement and security agencies.
The spokesperson withheld all information regarding the military preparations underway in Qatar. Gary Seideman, a former Green Beret and expert on global security, confirmed to OutKick that any military support would “usually” be organized “via the State Department.”
Seideman, who has previously oversaw security for the “Bourne” films and in international soccer, said that the regional security officer in the embassy will be informed and may have some resources. Seideman stated that a threat assessment using “a methodology with the regional security officer in Qatar” would be carried out in advance of the World Cup.
Additionally, he stated that while Qataris do have certain security capabilities, contractors will be left to shoulder the bulk of the burden.