Why are two US Army combat brigades still in Kuwait?

Don Bacon recently informed me that in addition to various headquarters, logistical facilities and rotating air units throughout the Gulf area, the US Army continues to maintain two ground combat brigades in Kuwait, presumebly at Camps Arfijan and Buehring.  I was unaware of this.

After the First Gulf War, Kuwait proposed such a garrison arrangement to the United States.  At the time I was in favor of this because Iraq remained a malevolent presence just to the north.

The situation is quite different now.  There is no real ground threat to Kuwait.  Iraq is not a threat and the notion that Iran might overrun southern Iraq to suddenly appear on Kuwait's border is so fanciful as to be unavailable as a justification for the continuing rotating deployments.

The unite presentoy deployed seem to be an armored brigade of the 4th Division and an additional brigade from the 34th USARNG division.

Presumably, Kuwait is paying the expenses involved in maintaining these troops in their country, but the mere presence of these ground combat units cannot be justified on the basis of Kuwait's desire to have an "insurance policy." The commander of one of the brigades recently said that his unit was in the ME to participate in various "exercizes' and to assist in training regional forces.  Really?  Where and when"?

IMO the two brigades are there at Kuawiti expense to act as a rescue posse for the embassy in Baghded if the need should arise.  pl  

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10 Responses to Why are two US Army combat brigades still in Kuwait?

  1. John says:

    We have military deployment in 150 of the 192 countries on the planet. Face it, it’s a military empire like any of the other ones in history.

  2. The Twisted Genius says:

    Your explanation for why these two brigades are in Kuwait makes sense. I also think CENTCOM desperately wants to keep ground forces and a major headquarters in theater to assuage their considerable ego. They have always wanted this and were insanely jealous of EUCOM’s position of having an in theater headquarters surrounded by dedicated combat forces. The 66th MIB was a particular object of their jealousy. I don’t know how much influence they have on the entire DOD and NCA to keep substantial forces in theater, but I seriously doubt they want to back to the old days.

  3. oofda says:

    Col- I don’t think the brigage from the 34th ID is still there- they went to Kuwait in 2011 for Operation New Dawn but appear to have come back- from the 34 ID’s history page- the Ist Brigade is the only armored brigade in the 34th.
    The 1st Brigade Combat Team Today
    The 1st Brigade Combat Team and its subordinate units continue to be actively involved in their
    states’ mission to provide a ready response to natural disasters and civil disturbance. They are
    also involved in Joint Exercises, Division and Brigade Warfighter Exercises, Overseas
    Deployments to Europe, Central America, and Southwest Asia, Combat Maneuver Training Center rotations, the Norwegian Exchange and Officer and NCO Exchanges with the United
    Kingdom and Germany.
    From their web page, they appear to be back in MN.
    The 2nd Brigade, 4th ID does appear to be in Kuwait at Camp Buehring-from its web page.

  4. turcopolier says:

    Lunch and shooting? pl

  5. joe brand says:

    I spent a year of my life at Camp Buehring, and I’ll never get it back. Kuwait is…not pretty.

  6. Basilisk says:

    How’s Friday lookin?. Forty-two might feel like a heat wave.

  7. The Twisted Genius says:

    Sounds good. I’m tied up through the weekend, but next week looks good.

  8. Charles I says:

    Wonder how many people are at that gigantic embassy/green zone now, Americans, personnel, contractors, whoever’s ticket is punched “out”, I recall it being many thousands of people, including locals.

  9. Anna says:

    What u mean ” not pretty”

  10. guest of the state says:

    One thing is true – neither the US nor the Kuwaitis want people to know anything much about it. Those two bases are just the tip of the iceberg for US military apparatus in Kuwait. Do some deep searching on google earth and you’ll see a lot more.

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