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Demonstrate Involvement: Why the US Is Boosting Its Military Presence in Saudi Arabia

2019-11-20T22:28:45.553Z

Donald Trump reiterated Washington's intention to increase the number of troops in Saudi Arabia and deploy new weapons there. According to him, this will happen "in the coming weeks." We are talking about including two squadrons of fighters, missile systems and radars. The US President also said that the main goal of the US military presence in the kingdom is to counteract Iran. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that such actions by Washington lead to "escalation of tension" in the Persian Gulf region. According to experts, the White House has resorted to such measures in order to demonstrate its influence to the Allies, as well as increase pressure on Tehran.



Donald Trump reiterated Washington's intentions to increase the military contingent in Saudi Arabia and deploy new weapons there. According to him, this will happen "in the coming weeks." This is stated in the letter of the American leader to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress Nancy Pelosi, published on the White House website.

“The first part of these troops has already arrived in Saudi Arabia, the remaining forces will be deployed in the next few weeks. Together with an additional contingent, the total number of US forces in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be approximately 3 thousand people, ”the letter says.

In addition, Trump specified exactly what types of weapons will be deployed in the SA.

“To strengthen the air defense and missile defense in the region, the additional contingent deployed in Saudi Arabia will include missile and radar systems, an air expeditionary wing to support US Air Force fighters from Saudi Arabia, as well as two fighter squadrons,” said the American leader .

Trump also outlined the main task of these measures - the United States thus wants to oppose Iran.

“In order to reassure our partners, deter further provocations on the part of Iran and strengthen regional defensive capabilities, it was ordered to deploy an additional contingent of the US Armed Forces in the Middle East ... They will remain in Saudi Arabia until their presence ceases to be necessary for these above goals, ”the letter indicates.

The US Foreign Ministry reacted to US plans to increase its military presence in the kingdom. Such a step leads to "escalation of tension" in the Persian Gulf region, deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Mikhail Bogdanov told journalists.

Previously, the Pentagon has already reported on the "deployment of additional troops" and weapons in Saudi Arabia. This was announced on October 11 by a spokesman for the US Department of Defense Jonathan Hoffman. According to him, this decision was made by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper after a request from the US Central Command.

"Minister Esper informed the Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, about the deployment of additional troops to support and strengthen the defense of Saudi Arabia," the Pentagon website said in a statement.

  • US President Donald Trump
  • Reuters
  • © Tom Brenner

At the same time, the Pentagon recalled that despite the increase in its military contingent in the Persian Gulf region, the United States "does not seek conflict with the Iranian regime."

“Since May, in order to strengthen regional security, the Department of Defense has additionally deployed approximately 14,000 troops in the area of ​​responsibility of the US Central Command. As we have stated, the United States does not seek conflict with the Iranian regime, but we will maintain reliable military capabilities in the region to maintain a preparedness for a crisis response, and we will also protect American forces and interests in the region, ”said Hoffman.

Recall that the Pentagon announced the transfer of additional troops to Saudi Arabia in July. However, then the department chose not to specify the size of the US military. Also, it was not reported on the deployment of new weapons in the kingdom.

Demonstrate Engagement

An increase in the American contingent in Saudi Arabia, Trump shows that his policy of “providing even greater power to the United States” is unchanged, said Vladimir Bruter, an expert at the International Institute for Humanitarian and Political Research, in a conversation with RT.

“The United States is increasing its military presence in Saudi Arabia to demonstrate its alleged involvement in the problems of the Persian Gulf region. In addition, Washington needs this in order to be able to respond to all situations in the Middle East that will not suit them. At the same time, the American side will not only defend, but also attack, if the situation so requires, ”the analyst emphasized.

Bruter also points out that enhancing Saudi Arabia’s security - which the White House motivates the transfer of military and military equipment - is “somewhat virtual reality.”

“In fact, the kingdom is not in danger. Husites periodically fire at home on the territory of the country with improvised missiles, but their threats are not serious. Moreover, Saudi Arabia could defend itself. However, the question is that then Washington will not have an excuse to introduce an additional military contingent to expand its influence in the Persian Gulf region, ”the expert said.

In addition, Bruter noted that the head of the White House pursues an inconsistent policy, first announcing the withdrawal of US troops from several countries in the Middle East, and then expanding the American continent in other states of the region.

  • Pentagon
  • Reuters

“It is difficult for Trump to pursue a consistent policy because of the characteristics of his personal qualities. The American leader is emotional, so he quickly makes decisions that are often unsuccessful. For Trump, the statement that he is withdrawing troops or introducing him into any country is, above all, a desire to demonstrate his character, ”the analyst said.

Pressure on tehran

According to experts, Washington is considering the transfer of additional troops and new weapons to Saudi Arabia as part of a plan to increase pressure on Iran.

So, in September, the Pentagon discussed steps with the US partners to counter Iran. This was stated by the head of the defense department.

“The United States military, together with an interagency group, is working with our partners on how to respond to unprecedented attacks and protect the rule-based international order that undermines Iran,” Esper wrote on his Twitter page.

Recall, Washington accused Iran of attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia on September 14, despite the fact that the Hussite rebels took responsibility for the attack on the refinery. According to Pompeo, Tehran "launched an unprecedented attack on global energy supplies." Iranian Defense Minister Amir Khatami, in turn, rejected such allegations.

In addition, this week Washington decided to reinstate sanctions against the Iranian nuclear facility in Fordo. This was announced to reporters by Secretary of State of the United States Mike Pompeo.

“The United States has lifted the exemption from sanctions on the nuclear facility in Fordo from December 15, 2019,” he said.

Pompeo previously called for increased pressure on Iran. According to him, "the time has come for all countries to end nuclear blackmail." The US Secretary of State wrote about this on his Twitter page.

According to Vladimir Bruter, the US actions to increase the US military contingent in Saudi Arabia is a “political demonstration of power” directed to Iran.

“American troops in the Persian Gulf were, as Trump himself said, ten minutes from the war. However, at this stage, the possibility of a military operation of the United States against Iran is unlikely. At the same time, the White House does not miss the opportunity to once again threaten its Iranian colleagues, ”said the expert.

Bruter also believes that in the future, Washington will further "increase pressure on Tehran."

“The USA always exerts approximately the same pressure - these are attempts at economic and trade strangulation. At the same time, the situation in the Persian Gulf will remain difficult, ”the analyst predicted.

  • Oil refinery Saudi Aramco
  • Reuters
  • © Maxim Shemetov

This opinion is shared by Andrei Sidorov, head of the department of international organizations and world political processes at the Moscow State University’s faculty of world politics. According to him, the situation with attacks on Saudi oil facilities requires Trump to show that the United States plays an important role in the Middle East.

“By increasing the size of the American contingent and military equipment, Trump thus means his presence in the region,” the expert said.

Sidorov also stressed that Washington will continue to exert pressure on Iran "on all fronts."

“The United States imposes economic sanctions, threatens, including military action. It is possible that Trump will eventually have to unleash a military conflict with Iran, since the pressure from the Pentagon is extremely great. In addition, American corporations interested in Iranian oil are actively showing themselves in this regard, ”the analyst concluded.

Source: russiart

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