U.S. Will Maintain Ties, Presence in Persian Gulf

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2011 — The Unit­ed States will main­tain a for­ward-deployed pres­ence in the Per­sian Gulf region, Pen­ta­gon Press Sec­re­tary George Lit­tle said here today.

The Unit­ed States, he said, has had troops in that part of the world since World War II.

“Our goal is to pro­mote sta­bil­i­ty and we expect to con­tin­ue to have strong mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary rela­tions with coun­tries in the region includ­ing Iraq, to include Kuwait, to include oth­ers,” Lit­tle said.

The num­ber of troops serv­ing in the region and where they will be based remains to be decid­ed, said Navy Capt. John Kir­by, deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for media oper­a­tions.

“We’re still work­ing through the deci­sion process,” Kir­by said. “There’s been no final deci­sion made on any addi­tion­al force pres­ence any­where.”

Lit­tle stressed that for­mal plans have not been sub­mit­ted to Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma or Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta.

“What­ev­er deci­sions are made about force pos­ture mov­ing for­ward will be based upon our secu­ri­ty com­mit­ments we have made and will con­tin­ue to hon­or in that region,” Kir­by said.

The U.S. mil­i­tary pres­ence in the Per­sian Gulf region is “not aimed at any one par­tic­u­lar threat,” Kir­by added, “but rather aimed towards our very seri­ous com­mit­ments to secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty in that part of the world.”

The Unit­ed States has a range of inter­ests and part­ners in the Per­sian Gulf region, Lit­tle said, not­ing the num­ber of U.S. forces in the region has waxed and waned in response to events since 1945.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)