Growing tensions with Iran have been a focal point of the Trump administration’s foreign policy.
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On Wednesday the White House announced its pulling all of its non-essential personnel and their families, from Iraq over threats from Iranian backed Shia militia attacking or kidnapping U.S. officials.
The move comes just a day after reports that President Trump was presented a plan to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacked American forces or accelerated its efforts on nuclear weapons which the president vigorously denied.
Currently, there are roughly 21,000 active duty U.S. military troops deployed to Middle East conflict zones.
Fox News senior strategic analyst and chairman for the Study of War General Jack Kean said that despite what the plan might be moving forward, the U.S. is trying to deter the Iranians from elevating this conflict.
“The United States government has told the American people that we have a credible threat against U.S. Troops and U.S. Facilities,” Keane said on FOX Business’ “Trish Regan Primetime” Wednesday. "We've taken a very appropriate action, to put back into the region, assets that we had taken out. Carrier Strike Groups, Patriot Battery and bombers. What are they trying to do? They are trying to convince the Iranians not to do what they're planning to do. They are trying to deter them from doing just that."
Trump reportedly told his acting Defense Secretary, Patrick Shanahan, that he does not want to go to war with Iran. He was asked during a visit by the Swiss President, Ueli Maurer, whether the U.S. was going to war with Iran in which he replied, "I hope not.”
The president has also denied rumors of a rift amongst his top brass, National Security Adviser, John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who appear to be pushing for a more hardline approach to Iran.
General Keane, a retired four-star general, said only the president will have the final decision on what course of action will be taken to deal with the Iranian aggression.
“Clearly, he is very much in charge of foreign-policy and national security. He sets the strategic framework for what the country is going to do,” Keane said. “Not his advisers.”
Keane also said that reports of Bolton pushing the president towards war is "nonsense."