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US reportedly could surge another 14,000 troops to the Middle East to prevent Iranian attacks
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.
"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."
The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.
"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"