2,500 US Troops Now Stationed in Saudi Arabia to ‘Deter’ Iran

US presence was long used as recruiting tool by al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda was very publicly using the presence of US ground troops in Saudi Arabia as a recruiting tool in the period around 9/11. Suggesting that many lessons have not been learned, some 2,500 US troops are back in the kingdom, and readying for a long stay.

Hype surrounding military tensions with Iran are driving this US deployment back into the region. More and more ground troops are being sent every time there is even a little tension, nominally to “deter” Iran from attacking the Saudi kingdom.

These deployments began in earnest when Yemen’s Houthis fired missiles at Saudi oil producing regions, and the Saudis blamed Iran for it. US military tensions in Iraq led to many more troops being sent, since Iraq made clear they didn’t want more US troops there, and the US wanted them somewhere near Iran.

US hostility toward Iran isn’t getting better, so a decision to leave seems unlikely. Since the US went into Saudi Arabia once again oblivious to the regional consequences, they’ll likely follow the same path as last time, remaining unaware until it becomes a huge problem.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.