– U.S. troops quietly surge into Middle East (San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 13, 2012):
Washington — The Pentagon has quietly shifted combat troops and warships to the Middle East after the top American commander in the region warned that he needed additional forces to deal with Iran and other potential threats, U.S. officials said.
Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, who heads U.S. Central Command, won White House approval for the deployments late last year after talks with the government in Baghdad broke down over keeping U.S. troops in Iraq, but the extent of the Pentagon moves is only now becoming clear.
Officials said the deployments are not meant to suggest a buildup to war, but rather are intended as a quick-reaction and contingency force in case a military crisis erupts in the standoff with Tehran over its suspected nuclear weapons program.
The Pentagon has stationed nearly 15,000 troops in Kuwait, adding to a small contingent already there. The new units include two Army infantry brigades and a helicopter unit – a substantial increase in combat power after nearly a decade in which Kuwait chiefly served as a staging area for supplies and personnel heading to Iraq.
The Pentagon also has decided to keep two aircraft carriers and their strike groups in the region.
Earlier this week, the American carrier Carl Vinson joined the carrier Stennis in the Arabian Sea, giving commanders major naval and air assets in case Iran carries out its recent threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic chokepoint in the Persian Gulf, where one-fifth of the world’s oil shipments passes.
‘Iran Hasn’t Invaded Another Country In More Than 300 Years.’
More on Iran:
Unwilling to back down from the growing criticism that his foreign policy would be “dangerous,” Ron Paul told voters in Iowa that western sanctions against Iran are “acts of war” that are likely to lead to an actual war.
Paul said that Iran would be justified in responding to sanctions by blocking the Straits of Hormuz, adding that the country blocking the strategically important strait is “so logical” since they have no other recourse.
He then compared the situation to China blocking off the Gulf of Mexico to trade.
Effectively, the measures will force companies and financial institutions throughout the world to choose between the United States and Iran as their business partner.
– RT: Russia Warns ‘Grave Consequences’ Would Follow Any Strike On Iran – Adrian Salbuchi: IAEA ‘Evidence’ Provided By US,UK, France And Maybe Even Israel Itself, ‘The Proof Is Very Vaque’, Evidence ‘Not Properly Substantiated – History Lession
– Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Calls Head Of IAEA A US ‘Puppet’ (Video – Guardian, Nov. 8 2011) … And He Is Correct … Nuclear Wikileaks: Cables Show Cosy US Relationship With IAEA Chief (Guardian, Nov. 30, 2010)
– Heads Of Mossad And Shin Bet May Have Leaked Plans For Attack On Iran, PM Netanyahu Orders An Investigation (Guardian, Nov. 3, 2011):
… the main suspects are the former heads of the Mossad and the Shin Bet, respectively Israel’s foreign and domestic intelligence agencies.Netanyahu is said to believe that the two, Meir Dagan and Yuval Diskin, wanted to torpedo plans being drawn up by him and Ehud Barak, the defence minister, to hit Iranian nuclear sites.
In January the recently retired Dagan, a hawk when he was running the Mossad, called an attack on Iran “the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard“.
“The stupidest idea I’ve ever heard“ = WW III: