'British troops and strike aircraft are to be based in the Gulf as part of the most significant new deployment of UK armed forces since Afghanistan.
The return to "east of Suez" was signalled by General Sir David Richards in the chief of defence staff's annual Christmas lecture at the Royal United Services Institute in London on Monday evening.
His speech was highly significant. It follows from what the Obama administration has been telling the Europeans — they have got to take more responsibility looking after the security interests not only of their own continent but those in the Middle East and Gulf. And it reflects David Cameron's view that British interests — not least commercial ones, and arms sales in particular — lie among the emirates, sultanates, and kingdoms, of the Gulf.'