US Sending 3,000 Troops to Saudi Arabia to ‘Deter’ Iran

Troops will stay as long as they are able

US intentions to send around 3,000 ground troops to Saudi Arabia’s oil producing area were reported back in October, but it was only on Tuesday that the Trump Administration sent letters to the House and Senate informing them of the plan.

The letters informed Congress that the first group of troops has been dispatched to Saudi Arabia, with the rest of the 3,000 expected to arrive in the next few weeks.

This was part of ongoing US efforts to get troops near Iran, though the letter said it was to “protect US interests and enhance force protection in the region against hostile action by Iran and its proxy forces.” The letter also said it would reassure allies.

The letter also suggested this is going to be a very open-ended deployment, saying that the troops will “stay there for as long as they are able to deter Iranian threats.”

Past US deployments to Saudi Arabia were highly controversial on religious grounds, and were cited by al-Qaeda as a motivation for the 9/11 attacks. The US made a point for security reasons to not have troops in Saudi Arabia for at least awhile after that, though now the deployments seem to be resuming with an eye toward picking a fight with Iran.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.