Washington, Oct 30 (ANI): The Obama administration is planning to bolster the American military presence in the Persian Gulf after it withdraws troops from Iraq by the end of this year.
According to the New York Times, with an eye on the threat of a belligerent Iran, the US is also seeking to expand military ties with the six nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council-Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
According to the paper, in addition to negotiations on maintaining a ground combat presence in Kuwait, the US is considering sending more naval warships through international waters in the region.
The plans, under discussion for months, gained new urgency after US President Barack Obama announced that the last American soldiers would be brought home from Iraq by the end of December.
While the US has close bilateral military relationships with each, the administration and the military are trying to foster a new "security architecture" for the Persian Gulf that would integrate air and naval patrols and missile defense.
The size of the standby American combat force to be based in Kuwait remains the subject of negotiations, with an answer expected in coming days, the paper said.
Meanwhile, Obama and his senior national security advisers have assured that the US would not abandon its commitments in the Persian Gulf even as it winds down the war in Iraq and looks ahead to doing the same in Afghanistan by the end of 2014. (ANI)
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