The United States plans to boost its military presence in the Persian Gulf after it withdraws its remaining troops from Iraq later this year, "The New York Times" has reported
The paper quoted officials and diplomats as saying Washington is negotiating to maintain troops on the ground in Kuwait and considering deploying more warships in the area to enable it to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran.
Earlier this month, President Barack Obama announced he had decided to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year after failing to agree with the Iraqi government on terms for a continued military presence.
Ending the eight-year war in Iraq was a central part of Obama's presidential campaign. But U.S. military officers and diplomats are worried the withdrawal could bring instability to the region, "The New York Times" reported.
It said plans to boost the American presence have been under discussion for months.
Washington also wants to expand military ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.