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U.S. Deploys Troops, Resources to Middle East Amid Iran Tension

U.S. Deploys Troops, Resources to Middle East Amid Iran Tension

By RZR News Team
Aug 02, 2023

Fast Facts


The recent decision to deploy troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran highlights a concerning pattern of failure in foreign policy by the Biden administration. These actions not only signify a lack of coherent strategy but also raise red flags about the resurgence of the military-industrial complex, fueled by liberal policies.

Effective, America-first diplomacy and restraint in intervention are key pillars of successful foreign policy. The hasty deployment of troops without clear objectives risks entangling the United States in yet another prolonged conflict (lest we not forget Biden’s failure in Afghanistan), echoing the mistakes of the past. This reactive approach signals a lack of leadership and could potentially escalate tensions instead of finding peaceful resolutions.

Moreover, conservatives express concerns about the revival of the military-industrial complex under liberal policies. Historically, the unchecked growth of the defense industry has perpetuated a cycle of conflict and military spending at the expense of addressing domestic needs. 

The Biden administration’s foreign policy decisions should reflect a commitment to American interests and the preservation of peace. Rather than resorting to military deployments, leveraging diplomatic channels and building strong alliances to address regional challenges – even better, less intervention in a region marred by America’s often unclear motives in the area should be the objective.

There is also paramount importance of accountability and oversight to prevent the military-industrial complex from gaining undue influence. Vigilance in scrutinizing defense contracts and promoting transparent decision-making is essential to avoid excessive military engagements driven by profit motives.

The recent troop deployment to the Middle East is a symptom of a faltering foreign policy strategy under the Biden administration. Hasty actions without clear objectives risk reigniting tensions and could have unintended consequences for America’s global standing. Additionally, the re-emergence of the military-industrial complex has begun following years of success deviating from it under Trump, emphasizing the need for more prudent defense spending and strategic restraint. 

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The United States has been committed to efforts in the Middle East since the declared war on Terrorism. The U.S. Central Command explains how there are between 60,000 and 70,000 U.S. troops deployed in the Middle East, with more being sent on the way.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a Marine Expeditionary Unit and an amphibious-ready group to Iran due to its attempts to seize ships in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, John Kirby states that there is “simply no justification” for Iranian actions to interfere, harass or attack merchant ships.

Therefore, the United State’s response is A Marine Expeditionary Unit, which had about 2,000 Marines transported aboard three warships, launch helicopters and watercraft. This might not come as a surprise for some because according to the U.S. Navy “Iran has interfered with or attacked 15 internationally flagged merchant ships over the past two years.”

In addition to not allowing foreign or regional powers (such as Iran) to jeopardize freedom of navigation through the Middle East waterways, another preeminent threat, for the United States, is Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapon, possibly with Russia. RZR has covered Iran’s support of Russia, in more detail on our podcast RZR Rundown.

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America’s decision to send even more troops to counter Iran is sure to increase tensions between the two countries even further. Seizing foreign ships is obviously not good, but it is important to understand that Iran has been struggling to deal with fuel smugglers in the region, providing some context for the country’s actions. In an ideal world, America and Iran would simply sit down and try to resolve this problem diplomatically, but this is not an ideal world. In order to fully understand America’s relationship with Iran, we need to understand why Iran is so antagonistic towards the U.S., starting with the 1953 CIA coup that ultimately led to the Iranian revolution and the country’s current Islamic regime.

Iran as a country has felt under siege by the U.S. for decades-in the past America was responsible for aiding in Saddam Hussein’s war against the country and once infamously shot down an Iranian commercial airline in 1988, killing nearly 300 civilians. Even today, the U.S. has never stopped threatening Iran, with prominent U.S. politicians openly salivating at the idea of war with the country, an attitude which ultimately culminated in the wildly illegal murder of Qasem Soleimani in 2020. The most destructive of America’s actions against Iran, however, are easily debilitating sanctions against the country. While some of these sanctions were designed to cripple Iran’s oil economy, the most devastating have been the sanctions targeting Iran’s healthcare industry, which in a few short years have wrecked Iran’s medical system and led to widespread drug shortages and deaths.

Despite these facts, there was hope at one point that America and Iran could bridge the divide and reconcile with one another in the form of the Iran nuclear deal. But this ship has sailed; ever since Trump pulled out of the deal, the nuclear deal has been essentially dead and Iran is closer to developing nuclear technology than ever before. While it is true that America deserves the lion’s share of the blame for torpedoing the deal – the American right is staunchly opposed to any reconciliation with Iran – reactionary politicians in Iran are just as against friendly U.S.-Iran relations as their Republican counterparts.

Of course, with all this in mind the Russian war in Ukraine has only made things even more complicated between Washington and Tehran. This war, which has left Russia increasingly isolated on the international stage, ironically pushed Iran and Russia closer together due to their mutual opposition to U.S. hegemony. Iran has rapidly become a key partner in aiding Russia’s invasion, not only providing Russia with drones designed to pummel infrastructure but also helping Russia manufacture weapons of its own. Tehran’s stance on the conflict has made it almost impossible for Iran to repair relations with the U.S.; America is deeply opposed to Iran’s drone sales and Iran would be foolish to turn their backs on Moscow, especially now that Russia is Iran’s top foreign investor. With America and Iran stuck on opposite sides of a conflict, diplomacy will be even harder.

– Matthew Kimball

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How do you know you are a member of Gen Z? Because it seems harder each passing year to remember a time before the United States sent troops to the Middle East. I remember in high school I took a class on World Religions my senior year, the teacher asked anyone if we could name the two main branches of Islam. Right away I answered the Sunnis and the Shias. 

To this day I’ll never forget my teacher’s response: “That’s right.. you know ten years ago, nobody would have answered that question” (for context, this was in the Spring of 2017). I always remembered that, and here I sit a little over six years later writing about a conflict in the same region. One could ask: why is there so much conflict in a region that spurred two of the greatest religious prophets to walk the earth (Jesus Christ and Muhammad)? 

That is a good question and it is hard to pinpoint one thing that created the issue because in some ways, it has been going on since the death of Muhammad. According to one Muslim tradition, Muhammad wanted to write a final document on his deathbed so his followers could continue to follow the way of Allah. Some dissented saying the Qur’an was sufficient and did not want a final document from Muhammad. 

It was here Islam saw itself divide and some might say the source of today’s conflict. There is just one problem – most groups of Muslims have lived peacefully with their respective others throughout the region for centuries. Although they do differ on some interpretations of Islamic law and readings, which does not mean each group is not entitled to their own interpretation. While Islam can be seen as a source of tension, it is not religious differences alone that are hurting the region. 

When the United States fought the Soviet Union during the Cold War, most of the fighting took place in other regions, like Korea and Vietnam, Iran and more broadly the Middle East. Neither country sent out troops (at least directly against the other), but wars were still fought, and plenty of lives were lost. However, the most damaging legacy was the fact it created a power vacuum on the world stage, and in the Middle East that is in some ways still unfolding today. 

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