White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran

(New York Times) Eric Schmitt and Julian E. Barnes - At a meeting of top U.S. national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said. Some senior American officials said the plans show how dangerous the threat from Iran has become. Others said the plans are a tactic to warn Iran against new aggression. Two national security officials said the announced U.S. drawdown in December of American forces in Syria, and the diminished naval presence in the region, appear to have emboldened some leaders in Tehran and convinced the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that the U.S. has no appetite for a fight with Iran. "The president has been clear, the United States does not seek military conflict with Iran, and he is open to talks with Iranian leadership," Garrett Marquis, a National Security Council spokesman, said Monday. "However, Iran's default option for 40 years has been violence, and we are ready to defend U.S. personnel and interests in the region." Moreover, intelligence and Defense Department officials said American sanctions have been working better than originally expected.

2019-05-14 00:00:00

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