What's the US to Do After Exiting Iraq? Stay in Kuwait

13.5K soldiers will help secure the region: report
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2012 7:18 AM CDT
Updated Jun 19, 2012 8:38 AM CDT
What's the US to Do After Exiting Iraq? Stay in Kuwait
US Army Lt. Col. Leon Sumpter, from Indianapolis, Ind. walks by a squadron of American Chinook helicopters at Camp Arifjan, south of Kuwait City, in this June 22, 2003 file photo.   (AP Photo/Gustavo Ferrari, File)

The US has no combat force in Iraq and a wary eye on Iran: What's a nervous country to do? Maintain a force in neighboring Kuwait, apparently. The AP obtained an advance copy of a congressional report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, set to be released today, that outlines US plans to keep 13,500 troops in Kuwait (15,000 are currently stationed there). The troops will ensure the US is able to respond quickly to regional conflicts, particularly since there are concerns about Iraq's stability, terrorist cells, the Arab Spring, political crises in nearby areas like Bahrain, and, of course, Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Up until now the number of troops currently in Kuwait has only been acknowledged anonymously by Pentagon officials. Leon Panetta has in the past suggested that 40,000 troops will remain in the Middle East after the Iraq withdrawal. Meanwhile, the US has begun drawing down the number of troops in Europe, and about 68,000 are expected to remain there. Click for more from the report. (Read more Kuwait stories.)

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