Esper: US Sent 14,000 Troops to Middle East to Control Iranian Influence

US 'increasingly concerned' Iran might attack

Discussing ongoing US tensions with Iran, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that the US has deployed 14,000 troops to the Middle East since May to “further enhance deterrence” and to control Iran’s influence across the region.

Despite all the talk of deterrence and commitment and other reasons to have large amounts of US troops near Iran, officials suggested that this was not working, and that they are increasingly concerned Iran might attack.

If we’re taking the administration at their word that the deployments are meant to deter Iran, they can only be said to have failed miserably. Rather, it seems the US is eager to have military forces around Iran and eager to keep talking up the idea that war against Iran is imminent.

Despite previous denials from the Pentagon, the US has been in the process of considering even more deployments against Iran in the area, with reports as many as another 14,000 troops could be sent. While Esper said no consideration was ongoing, other top Pentagon officials testified to Congress that Esper had told them new deployments were likely to come soon.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of