More US Troops Could Be Headed to Mideast as Iranian Threat Intensifies

December 6, 2019 by Tom Ramstack
Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response - Central Command. (Photo by Cpl. Rhita Daniel; Courtesy of the Department of Defense)

WASHINGTON – A high-ranking Defense Department official acknowledged during a Senate hearing Thursday that the U.S. government is considering sending more troops to the Middle East to counter an Iranian military buildup.

“We’re concerned about the threat stream we’re seeing,” said John C. Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy.

He testified during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to review the National Defense Strategy recently updated by the Pentagon. It describes military threats faced by the U.S. and suggests strategies to confront them.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the Trump administration is considering a large increase in U.S. military forces in the Middle East to counter Iran. The expansion would reportedly include dozens more ships and as many as 14,000 additional troops.

The same report stated the planned buildup would double the number of U.S. troops dispatched against Iran since May.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., referred to the Journal report when she asked, “Should I be completely shocked if I were to wake up one morning in the near future and hear on the news that we are deploying a significant number of troops back to the Mideast?”

Rood admitted a troop buildup was being considered but hesitated to set the number at 14,000.

“It is possible that we would need to adjust our force posture,” Rood said.

The Trump administration accused the Iranians this week of recently adding missiles and fast-attack ships to its forces in the Middle East. In addition, troop movements indicate Iran is positioning itself for a potential attack against American forces in the region, Trump officials said.

Rood echoed some of the statements when he said, “Our objective is to counter Iranian aggression.”

The Defense Department reported in Senate testimony that Iran has interfered with navigation in international waters and global economies by attacking oil tankers this year. It also is using proxy fighters from Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq against its hostile Middle Eastern neighbors.

Other parts of Iran’s military buildup have included additions to its arsenal of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones designed to target U.S. forces and Middle Eastern allies. Iran is also increasing its cyber warfare capabilities, according to the Defense Department.

The FARS News Agency gave some details of the buildup in a Nov. 27 report that quoted Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi.

“God willing, we will witness addition of the destroyer, Dena, to the Navy,” in late January or early February, Khanzadi told the news service.

He added, “Concurrently, we will witness the launch of a mine-clearing warship, Saba, in the Navy as well as a drone, namely Simorq, which has a flight durability of 24 hours and capability to carry different types of weapons, including bombs, rockets and projectiles.”

Additions to Iran’s military are heating up rhetoric from U.S. politicians.

President Donald Trump this month accused Iranian police of killing more than 1,000 protesters during recent demonstrations across the country.

The allegations were supported by a video political dissidents sent the State Department showing Iranian Revolutionary Guards armed with machine guns shooting at least 100 protesters in the city of Mahshahr.

Thousands of other videos have been submitted showing other atrocities, State Department officials said.

Discussion of Iran during the Senate hearing was a key part of the talks that also touched on other threats, such as from China and Russia.

“The fundamental problem we continue to face, as identified by the (National Defense Strategy), is the ‘erosion of U.S. competitive military advantage vis-à-vis China and Russia,’ while continuing to address threats from rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea, and violent extremist organizations like ISIS and Al Qaeda,” Rood said in his testimony. “It is critical that we continue our work to arrest and reverse this trend to regain our competitive military advantage, especially in high-end warfare.”

Military

Bill Authorizing President to Posthumously Award Medal of Honor Proposed
Military
Bill Authorizing President to Posthumously Award Medal of Honor Proposed
September 17, 2020
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation that would authorize the president to posthumously award U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe the Medal of Honor. Cashe was injured in October 2005 while deployed in Iraq when the Bradley Fighting Vehicle he was in... Read More

Russian Navy Conducts Major Maneuvers Near Alaska
Geopolitics
Russian Navy Conducts Major Maneuvers Near Alaska

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian navy conducted major war games near Alaska involving dozens of ships and aircraft, the military said Friday, the biggest such drills in the area since Soviet times. Russia's navy chief, Adm. Nikolai Yevmenov, said that more than 50 warships and about... Read More

Appeals Court Rules That Only Men Can Be Drafted by U.S. Military
Military
Appeals Court Rules That Only Men Can Be Drafted by U.S. Military
August 17, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

Only men can be drafted into the U.S. military, a federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled last week. The ruling was based on a lawsuit filed by the advocacy group National Coalition for Men and two men who alleged sex discrimination. They argued that a... Read More

From Defeat to a First-Ever Bill: How Veterans Are Fighting Back on Toxic Exposure
Veterans
From Defeat to a First-Ever Bill: How Veterans Are Fighting Back on Toxic Exposure

WASHINGTON — When Rosie Torres first knocked on Congress’ doors almost a decade ago, asking for help for her husband and other veterans who became sick following exposure to military burn pits, she gained little traction. What she heard: More research was needed to determine if... Read More

Members Request Investigation of Multibillion Dollar Pentagon Contract
Congress
Members Request Investigation of Multibillion Dollar Pentagon Contract
August 5, 2020
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON – Two members of Congress have penned letters requesting a probe into the Pentagon’s decision to grant a multibillion dollar moving contract to American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group Inc. The three-year, $7.2 billion contract would privately outsource the management of service members’ household goods, according... Read More

Armed Services Panel Cancels Hearing for Controversial Pentagon Nominee
U.S. Senate
Armed Services Panel Cancels Hearing for Controversial Pentagon Nominee

WASHINGTON — The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday canceled at the last minute the nomination hearing for Anthony J. Tata, President Donald Trump’s controversial pick to be the Pentagon’s policy chief. Tata, a retired Army brigadier general and regular contributor to Fox News, once called... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top