The United States is not at war with Iran yet, but just in case, the Pentagon says they want to be prepared. To do so, the Department of Defense has dispatched 15,000 troops to the neighboring nation of Kuwait.
Gen. James Mattis, the Marine Corps head that rules over the US Central Command, won approval late last year from the White House to deploy the massive surge to the tiny West Asian country Kuwait, which is separated from Iran by only a narrow span of the Persian Gulf.
The latest deployment, which was ushered in without much presentation to the public, adds a huge number of troops aligned with America’s arsenal that are now surrounding Iran on literally every front. In late 2011, the US equipped neighboring United Arab Emirates with advanced weaponry created to disrupt underground nuclear operations. In adjacent Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, American military presence has long been all but enormous.
While the US has not placed any boots on the ground in Iran, an unauthorized surveillance mission of a US steal drone in December prompted Tehran to become enraged at Washington. US officials insist that Iran is on the verge of a nuclear weaponry program, despite lacking sufficient evidence or confirmation. During the drone mission, Iran authorities intercepted the craft and forced it into a safe landing. Tensions have only worsened between the two nations in the month since, but Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that stealth missions into Iran will continue “absolutely,” despite ongoing opposition from overseas.
In calling for the latest surge to Kuwait, Gen. Mattis said the deployment was necessary to keep Iran in check and keep America prepared for any other threats in the area. It comes only weeks after the last American troops vacated nearby Iraq, where the US still in actuality has an advance presence — the American embassy in Baghdad employs thousands of armed military contractors.
The move to build up military presence in Kuwait comes at a time when the foreign government is at odds to a degree with a US. While protesters in America this week have demonstrated against the ten year anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay prison facility, the Kuwait government has increased efforts to have two of their own men transferred out of Gitmo and sent back home. Both Fawzi al-Odah and Fayiz al-Kandari have been detained at Guantanamo since 2002, although only one of the two Kuwaiti citizens has ever been charged.
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