WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) today issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s decision to deploy additional military personnel and assets to Saudi Arabia:
“The Trump Administration claims that they want to see a diplomatic solution to the existing tensions with Iran, and yet this week they announced the deployment of additional military personnel and assets to the region. From the beginning I have been deeply concerned about the administration’s so-called maximum pressure campaign and its lack of a cogent strategy. Today’s announcement from the Pentagon does nothing to quell my concern. It appears the administration’s campaign is not working and rather than moving towards a peaceful resolution we are setting the conditions for further escalation.
“Years ago, the United States had intentionally drawn down our military personnel and assets in the region to support the National Defense Strategy. Our military leaders told us this draw down was necessary to focus on the challenges of the future, namely Russia and China. Now, following this most recent announcement from the Pentagon, we will have more assets in the region than at the start of the Trump Administration – an action that is inconsistent with the National Defense Strategy and could lead to further escalation.
“Until the Administration’s national security team can clearly articulate how their recent deployment decisions fit into a broader strategy in the region, I will remain critical of our current trajectory. It is past time to focus on de-escalation and diplomacy, not a military solution.”