Trump Says He’s Ending the US Role in Middle East Wars. He’s Sending 1,800 Troops to Saudi Arabia.

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President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with senior military leaders at the White House on October 7, 2019 in Washington, DC.

The Trump administration will send nearly 2,000 troops and advanced military equipment to Saudi Arabia to deter threats from Iran — a move that will increase America’s presence in the Middle East, even as President Donald Trump falsely boasts about ending wars in the region.

The announcement, made by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley on Friday, continues the administration’s campaign both to increase pressure on Tehran and deepen ties with Riyadh. The US has sent an additional 14,000 military members to the Middle East since May, which the 1,800 authorized Friday will add to.

That makes sense, as May was when the US and Iran became locked in a standoff that’s seen the US aggressively increase its stance in the region and consider striking Iran only to call it off at the last minute. It’s also seen Iran bomb oil tankers in strategic waterways and oil fields in Saudi Arabia, which Esper specifically cited as a reason for the increase.
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