Move would come after attacks on shipping and on Saudi oil installations that US blames on Iran and Tehran denies.
The United States is weighing sending as many as 14,000 more troops to the Middle East amid a perceived threat from Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
Such a deployment would include “dozens” more ships and double the number of troops added to the US force in the region since the beginning of this year, the Journal said, citing unidentified US officials.
A Pentagon spokesperson declined to comment on the report to the AFP news agency.
The move would come after a series of attacks on shipping vessels and a drone and missile attack on Saudi oil installations in September that the US blames on Iran. Tehran denies any involvement.
The Journal said President Donald Trump could make a decision on the troop increase as early as this month. Some US officials worry, however, that adding more American military resources to the mix could put the region on track for a dangerous and unpredictable conflict.
Washington has already ratcheted up its military presence in the Gulf and expanded economic sanctions against the country, elevating tensions across the region.
In mid-November, the US aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln sailed through the Strait of Hormuz in a show of force aimed at reassuring allies.
In October, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that two fighter squadrons and additional missile defense batteries were being sent to Saudi Arabia, for a total of about 3,000 new troops.
Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the country was willing to return to the negotiating table over its nuclear program if the US first dropped its sanctions, which have hampered the country’s economy and may have contributed to recent domestic turmoil sparked by fuel price hikes.