Pentagon Mulls Sending More Troops
to Gulf, Officials Say
May 23, 2019
The Pentagon is set to brief the White House on Thursday about possibly
sending thousands more U.S. troops to the Middle East, U.S. officials
The request for additional troops has come from U.S. Central Command,
said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because plans
have not been formalized, according to media reports.
It is not clear if the White House will approve sending all or just some
of the requested defensive forces, as well as additional Patriot missile
batteries and more ships.
The Pentagon declined to comment on future plans. "As a matter of
long-standing policy, we are not going to discuss or speculate on
potential future plans and requests for forces," Commander Rebecca
Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said Wednesday.
between Tehran and Washington have been escalating since U.S. President
Donald Trump announced his decision to try to cut Iran's oil exports to
zero and beef up the U.S. military presence in the Gulf in response to
what he said were Iranian threats.
But despite the rhetoric, last week Trump told his acting defense
secretary, Patrick Shanahan, that he did not want to go to war with
Sending additional U.S. troops to the region would mark a shift in
position for Trump, who has repeatedly said in the past he wanted to
reduce the number of U.S. troops in the region.
Last December, Trump announced the withdrawal of 2,000 U.S. troops from
Syria. In February, however, he decided to keep about 400 troops there.