With tensions rising in the Persian Gulf the United States has begun to shift its military might into the region. Tensions between Iran and the United States have steadily risen as the US continues to pressure Iran into giving up their uranium enrichment program through the placement of strategic sanctions on the region.
Since pulling out of Iraq US military forces have raised troop numbers to nearly 15,000 in Kuwait and two aircraft carriers and their strike groups are now in the region.
As part of the shift the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Brigade, which shifted from Iraq to Kuwait has been designated a “mobile response force” for the region.
While the military’s movement comes just after Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz the call for more troops was actually requested last year by Central Command chief James Mattis,
In responding to requests for more information Pentagon officials say the troop increases in the region is not in preparation of war but rather an attempt to prepare for quick deployment of troops should Iran attempt to disrupt oil supply shipments throughout the strategic strait.
The troop increase comes only a short time after Iran Gen. Ataollah Salehi, head of Iran’s army, warned the John C. Stennis not to return to the Persian Gulf after the US aircraft carrier passed through the strait in early January. When that ship returns to the United States in the near future it will be replaced by the Enterprise.
On Thursday the Obama administration imposed sanctions on three companies that sell gasoline to Iran. While the country is the third-largest oil exporter in the world it doesn’t have oil refining capabilities and must therefore purchase gasoline from other countries.