Kuwait to host a significant amount of U.S. troops
A soldier fires during a weapon qualification at the Udairi range, near Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
June 19th, 2012
06:21 PM ET

Kuwait to host a significant amount of U.S. troops

By Jennifer Rizzo

The United States has approximately 15,000 troops in Kuwait, according to a Senate report released Tuesday, the first time the number has been disclosed.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee report looked at how to best promote U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf region after the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq last year, the ongoing Arab Spring uprisings and the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.

It concluded in part that a "lily pad" model of having bases throughout the region to allow for a rapid escalation of military forces is a sound approach.

The Kuwaiti bases "offer the United States major staging hubs, training ranges, and logistical support for regional operations," the report said. "U.S. forces also operate Patriot missile batteries in Kuwait, which are vital to theater missile defense."

When an agreement was not reached between the United States and Iraq on allowing a troop presence in the country it was expected that there would be an increased presence of U.S. troops in the bordering nation of Kuwait.

The Pentagon would not confirm the numbers cited in the report and would say only that there are roughly 40,000 American troops in the area, a sign that Kuwait may not want the numbers publicized.

"The Kuwaitis are extremely sensitive to the U.S. presence in their country," said national security analyst and retired Air Force Col. Cedric Leighton, who claims that there are usually 4,000 to 7,000 troops stationed in the country. "The Pentagon doesn't want to confirm any specific numbers for the concern that the Kuwaitis might get cold feet and wouldn't allow the U.S. to maintain a presence in Kuwait."

The United States also has troops stationed in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

"The secretary (of defense) has been very clear that while we do this shift in focus to the Asia-Pacific, that the Central Command area of responsibility will still remain a high priority," said Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby.

Central Command is responsible for U.S. security interests in the Middle East, Egypt and Central Asia.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said the United States is trying to figure out exactly what the military footprint should be in the Middle East.

"You know, we're very heavily invested, not only in Afghanistan, but in Gulf itself, as a hedge against uncertainty," Dempsey said. "And so, that part I'm not clear about yet, because it will depend on how the way ahead begins to expose itself with regard to Iran."

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Filed under: Dempsey • Kuwait • Middle East • Military
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. socal1200r

    What, no optics, just plain old iron sights? Man, must be a Guard or Reserve guy!

    July 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  2. Linda Van Buskirk

    NUMBER of troops, not amount. Use the correct words, please!!!

    June 28, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
  3. Gsan

    Nice picture, but it shows a bullet being ejected from the rifle, not just the casing. Wondering if it was added with photoshop, therefore dulling what could have been a great photo.

    June 21, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
    • serg

      that is actually the casing. bullets tend to go straight.

      June 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
      • EagleEye

        Actually, its the casing WITH the bullet, making Gsan quite correct, Thats a photoshop pic.

        June 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • afatalpapercut

      Don't be idiots. The 5.56 round fired from his M4 has a tapered end and the bullet itself is pointed and extremely small in mass, all honesty, when compared to other "bullets". That is 100% a shell casing being ejected from his rifle. As a former Cavalry Scout, this is totally obvious. Oh and btw, chances are the round has a green colored tip as well. Move on, and find another pic to criticize.

      June 28, 2012 at 3:19 am | Reply
      • afatalpapercut

        I've seen thousands and thousands, fired even more...and seen plenty of pictures exactly like this. Oh and to boot I'm a Digital Arts and Design student now...i'm almost 100% certain it's not "photshopped" as there would be no true reason or benefit from doing so in the first place.

        June 28, 2012 at 3:23 am |
  4. Phunnie boy

    This is very good news indeed. After all, what would Kuwait do without our troops? This I cannot imagine for all the oil in Iraq and Libya!!!!!

    June 20, 2012 at 7:44 am | Reply
  5. Stan Iverson

    I just SO wish that media would stop using the term Arab spring.

    June 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Reply
    • KEVIN

      The term is kinda used like "terrorists" and "freedom fighters". It depends on what side you are on

      June 20, 2012 at 5:29 am | Reply
  6. duckforcover

    Shouldn't we be leaving the Middle East so they can kill each other for a while? There is no cost and the results are just the same.

    June 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Reply
    • YoungMarine

      In a way yes but no because then they can work on hitting us at home while drone strikes make them paranoid and slim there numbers

      June 19, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Reply
      • Marine5484

        Come on, duckforcover has it right. We need to get out of both the Middle East and Central Asia but unfortunately, the bureaucrats in Washington don't see things that way!

        June 20, 2012 at 7:47 am |
  7. There are those


    June 19, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  8. There are those


    June 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Reply

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