For years, US military policy across the Middle East has centered around the idea that they might, at any time, just up and attack Iran. That prospect seems pretty remote after the US signed a weekend deal with Iran.
But the policy still has momentum, at least as far as the Pentagon is concerned. Spokesman Col. Steve Warren insists that US military posture in the region “has not changed, nor will it.”
Pentagon officials say changing their troop rotations would take “months” and could also be politically controversial, so they’re going to keep the current deployments in place for simplicity’s sake.
While that may fly for the duration of the six month “interim” agreement with Iran, if and when it advances into a permanent deal there will be growing pressure on the Pentagon to stop wasting money keeping troops poised to attack a country they’re clearly not going to attack. As with anti-Soviet deployments in Germany, which continued long after the Soviet Union’s collapse, this could take a long, long time.