There is no apparent buildup or operational change at bases in the region, which for the U.S. include air wings scattered across the Gulf and the 5th Fleet naval hub in Bahrain.
U.S. military planners say they could shift at least 4,000 soldiers to Kuwait after next month’s withdrawal from Iraq as part of efforts to boost the Pentagon’s already strong presence in the Gulf. But Kuwait’s defense minister said Sunday that his country has plans to increase U.S. troops levels there.
The upcoming IAEA report also must run its course. The U.S. and others hope it will persuade the IAEA board to refer the findings to the U.N. Security Council for possible tougher sanctions on Iran or - as an alternative - a deadline for greater cooperation with the nuclear agency’s investigators.