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American Forces Press Service

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

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

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.

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