During his first visit to Kuwait, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta cited the U.S.-Kuwait partnership as key to working with other partners in the Middle East during contingencies.
American Forces Press Service reports the U.S. has more than 50,000 troops stationed in the Middle East, with 13,500 of them stationed in Kuwait.
U.S. and Kuwaiti soldiers partner in security cooperation missions along with joint exercised and training, Panetta said, according to AFPS.
Panetta told reporters the last official visit from a U.S. defense secretary occurred five years ago, Cheryl Pellerin writes.
According to the Washington Post, U.S. forces in Qatar and Kuwait also are viewed as part of Washington’s deterrence policy towards Iran.
Panetta is visiting troops during the holiday season to thank them for their service, Ernesto Londono writes.