Jun 19, 2012 3:32 PM by Matt Stafford
WASHINGTON (AP) - A congressional report says the United States is planning a significant military presence of 13,500 troops in Kuwait to give it the flexibility to respond to sudden conflicts in the region.
The study by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee examined the U.S. relationship with the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
The Associated Press obtained the report in advance of Tuesday's release. It comes as the Middle East deals with the demands of the Arab Spring, the end to U.S. combat operations in Iraq at the end of 2011 and fears of Iran's nuclear program.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said he envisions about 40,000 troops stationed in the Middle East region after the withdrawal from Iraq.