News

National Security & Defense

U.S. Sending 1,500 More Troops to Middle East amid Iran Tensions

President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the White House, May 16, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

President Trump announced Friday that the U.S. will send about 1,500 more troops to the Middle East to play a “mostly protective” role, amid escalating tensions with Iran.

“We want to have protection,” Trump said at the White House as he left for Japan. “Some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now and we’ll see what happens.”

About 1,000 troops will be sent to the region and close to 600 will have their deployments in the Middle East extended, according to the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Rear Admiral Michael Gilday.

“The Iranians have said publicly they were going to do things,” Gilday said. “We learned through intelligence reporting they have acted upon those threats and they have actually attacked.”

The Pentagon will also send a Patriot anti-missile battalion, a fighter-aircraft squadron, engineers, and more intelligence and reconnaissance aircraft.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said U.S. Central Command had requested the additional troops and that they are intended to “improve our force protection and safeguard U.S. forces given the ongoing threat posed by Iranian forces, including the IRGC [Iran’s Revolutionary Guard] and its proxies.”

“In my capacity, the most difficult decision is authorizing a mission that I know puts the men and women of our Armed forces in harm’s way,” Shanahan said during his address at the U.S. Naval Academy’s commencement ceremony. “I will continue to give those orders, but only when absolutely necessary.”

The Trump administration deployed four bombers as well as the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier-strike group to the Persian Gulf earlier this month amid fears that Iran was transporting short-range ballistic missiles in the region. The U.S. currently has about 5,200 troops in Iraq and 2,000 in Syria.

Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have intensified since April, when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced an end to the exemptions from U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil and gas that eight countries had been granted.

“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Most Popular

U.S.

In Defense of Coleman Hughes

Picture the scene: A young man walks into a congressional hearing to offer witness testimony. His grandfather was barbarically brutalized by people who are now long dead. The nation in which he resides built its wealth of his grandfather’s brutalization. The question: Should his fellow citizens pay the young ... Read More
Film & TV

Toy Story 4: A National Anthem

The Toy Story franchise is the closest thing we have to an undisputed national anthem, a popular belief that celebrates what we think we all stand for — cooperation, ingenuity, and simple values, such as perpetual hope. This fact of our infantile, desensitized culture became apparent back in 2010 when I took a ... Read More
Education

College Leaders Should Learn from Oberlin

Thanks to their social-justice warrior mindset, the leaders of Oberlin College have caused an Ohio jury to hit it with $44 million in compensatory and punitive damages in a case where the school couldn't resist the urge to side with its “woke” students against a local business. College leaders should learn ... Read More
Elections

Joe and the Segs

Joe Biden has stepped in it, good and deep. Biden, if he has any hope of ever being elected president, will be dependent on residual goodwill among African Americans from his time as Barack Obama’s loyal and deferential vice president — so deferential, in fact, that he stood aside for Herself in 2016 even ... Read More
Film & TV

Fosse/Verdon and the Dismal #MeToo Obsession

In the final episode of Fosse/Verdon, one of the two titular characters, Bob Fosse, is shooting one of the greatest films of all time. The other, Gwen Verdon, is having a quarrel with her unspeakably dull boyfriend about whether he approves of her performing in a road-show production of a Broadway musical. These ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Madcap Caution of Donald Trump

The worry last week was that the Trump administration was ginning up fake intelligence about Iran blowing up oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz to justify a war against Iran. Then, this week, President Donald Trump said the Iranian attacks weren’t a big deal. The episode is another indication of the ... Read More