Zachary Halaschak – Washington Examiner Dec 4, 2019
The Trump administration is weighing whether to significantly expand the U.S. military presence in the Middle East to counter Iran.
The move could double the number of troops in the region, deploying up to 14,000 more, according to the Wall Street Journal. Dozens of ships could also be moved into the area in addition to military hardware. President Trump could make a decision on the increase before the end of the year.
Even if Trump doesn’t approve the large-scale deployment, he might give the green light to a smaller one. Among military officials and the administration, there is concern about an Iranian attack on U.S. interests. The thought is that maintaining a larger military presence could act as a deterrent from further provocation from Tehran.
The United States has sent about 14,000 troops to the region since May after officials indicated a heightened threat from Iran, who opposes both America and Israel.
In September, Iran attacked Saudi oil facilities, a move that took down 5% of the world’s oil supply for a time. In July, the U.S. planned airstrikes against Iranian facilities in response to Iran shooting down a U.S. drone, but Trump reportedly called off the attack in the last minutes, over concerns about possible loss of life.
John Rood, the undersecretary of defense for policy, told reporters Wednesday that the situation regarding military assets in the Middle East is fluid.
“Deterrence is dynamic, our response is going to be dynamic,” Rood explained