US latest Mideast deployment to have little deterrent value: ex-Pentagon official

WASHINGTON, June 19: The Trump administration’s decision to send 1,000 extra troops to the Middle East will have a negligible effect in deterring Iran’s policies and actions, retired veteran and Department of Defense analyst Chuck Spinney told Sputnik.
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday he had approved sending the extra forces in response to a request from US Central Command and after consultations with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and with the White House.
“It will have little deterrent value and no military value,” Spinney said on Tuesday.
However, Spinney said the move had no military rationale and may have been made as a domestic political calculation.
“Perhaps, this is some kind of response to internal pressure to do ‘something.’ It may have more to do with some kind of whacked-out domestic political calculation rather than a rational foreign policy,” Spinney said.
The decision made no military sense whatsoever, Spinney emphasized.
“I don’t know what to make of this deployment. It is too small to have any deterrent value (other than perhaps according some kind of cockamamy theory of demonstrating resolve by putting a few US more lives in harm’s way) and no military value,” he said.
The deployment may have been urged by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton who are regarded as the leading hawks in the Trump administration on confronting Iran, Spinney suggested.
The move was “perhaps cooked up by members of the Bolton-Pompeo clique in one of rubber rooms of St. Elizabeth’s Mental Hospital, part of which is now appropriately being redeveloped for use as the headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security,” he said.
In his statement on Monday, Shanahan said the deployment had been ordered to protect US national interests and ensure the safety and welfare of US personnel working in the region.
The deployment came after two oil tankers were attacked in the Strait of Hormuz last week. US leaders have accused Iran of carrying out the attacks, but Tehran has denied the allegations.