US reportedly could surge another 14,000 troops to the Middle East to prevent Iranian attacks

news
USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and US Air Force Flex On ...

The United States could send up to 14,000 more troops to the Middle East in a surge that would double the number of service members dispatched to the region since May as part of a showdown with Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Reporters Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef first brought to light that President Donald Trump could decide later this month whether to send more troops and ships to deter Iran. The president could ultimately approve a smaller deployment to the region.


U.S. military officials in the Pentagon and elsewhere professed ignorance of the proposed buildup.

Earlier on Wednesday, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood said the U.S. military was concerned about a potential Iranian attack against the United States and its Middle Eastern allies, but he did not indicate such a massive response was in the works.

Rood noted that the Iranians have allegedly launched attacks this year on Saudi oil facilities, foreign oil tankers, and they have shot down U.S. drones.

"All of those things are in the recent past, but we also continue to see indications – and for obvious reasons, I won't go into the details – of the potential that Iranian aggression could occur," Rood said.

He did not elaborate on what kind of indications were suggesting another Iranian attack.

Over the last six months, the United States has dispatched 14,000 troops to the Middle East, including the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and its strike group, Rood told reporters at a Defense Writers Group breakfast. The carrier USS Harry S. Truman is now enroute to the area.

"Besides the carrier battle group; cruisers destroyers, bombers, fighter aircraft squadrons, deployment of additional early warning capabilities, maritime patrol aircraft, hardening units, air and missile defense units – a pretty considerable number of U.S. forces have been deployed," Rood said.

Rood used the word "dynamic" to describe future U.S. military deployments to the Middle East, but he did not explain what exactly that meant. Former Defense Secretary James Mattis used the same term when calling for carrier deployments to be less predictable.

"We have not made a decision that this is some plateau or a fixed point in which U.S. forces will stay," Rood said on Wednesday. "In private – you should know – we have sent very clear and blunt signals to the Iranian government about the potential consequences of aggression because all of this is intended to produce stability and deter potential attacks."


Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew becomes emotional while speaking about officer Katie Thyne during a press conference Friday morning Jan. 24, 2020 in Newport News, Va. Officer Thyne died Thursday night after being dragged during a traffic stop. (Daily Press/Jonathon Gruenke via Tribune News Service)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The police officer killed during a traffic stop in Newport News on Thursday night was a well-liked young officer who just graduated from the police academy seven months ago, Police Chief Steve Drew said at a somber news conference Friday.

Read More
Calvin Cooper (Facebook via Albuquerque Journal)

The airman who struck and killed a woman with his car last year near Kirtland Air Force Base is now headed to trial and facing possible prison time in the incident.

Read More
Audie Murphy (U.S. Army photo)

Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018

On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.

Read More
A military funeral at Fort Jackson National Cemetery in 2014. Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Joel Quebec/U.S. Army

A U.S. soldier died on Friday while in Syria supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the Defense Department announced on Saturday.

Read More
DoD photo

A word that could once not be mentioned in court — torture — was front and center on Friday as a military tribunal prepares to take on the long-delayed trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed chief plotter of the 9/11 attacks, and four other defendants.

"I know torture's a dirty word," defense attorney Walter Ruiz told the tribunal. "I'll tell you what, judge, I'm not going to sanitize this for their concerns."

Read More