Washington 0
24 May 2019

Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced that he had "approved the combatant commander's request to deploy approximately 1,500 additional troops and defensive capabilities to the CENTCOM area to increase our force protection posture. This is a prudent response to credible threats from Iran". Discussing the deployment, President Trump asserted that "we want to have protection in the Middle East. We're going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective". A senior defence official broke down the assets as "a compliment of manned and unmanned platforms to collect intelligence and track Iranian cruise missiles, UAVs and aircraft. A Patriot battalion to defend against any missile threats, an engineer element... and a fighter squadron". 

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.