Well this one is an easy one to answer for a change - I’ve no idea!!!
In itself, 1500 is not a huge number and its purpose is apparently to protect US interests in the area. However, if there really is a serious threat in the region then one hotspot is the Hormuz Straits through which much of the Middle East oil flows. Given the recent attacks on 4 ships in that area, this could well be a reality… In which case it would be a viable option to boost defensive measures and addition deterrents in that area.
But, in the same manner as the WMDs in Iraq, it is never clear whether these kinds of threats are real or just fabricated to justify military actions. And that may well be the case here. In which case the question is what is the real motive behind this move:
On one hand, If the threats against the US are genuine then I could imagine that these boostings of military presence in the area will be taken seriously because there are serious hawks in the US Administration and the memories of the MOAB in Afghanistan back in, was it 2017, will have dismissed any doubts about the US resolve to “deal with” any actions against US interests in the region.
On another hand, as you mentioned previously, Mr Trump is famed more as a businessman and his negotiating tactics seem to follow a common pattern - grab the opponent by what hurts the most and then offer to release his grip if they agree to the deal. This military buildup may just be to underline and preserve the effectiveness of the current sanctions grip on the Iran’s sensitive parts!
On yet another hand, Mr Trump is a clever guy and already has his eye on the next election. In this respect, he wants to maintain a strong stock market and low oil prices. It is maybe worth remembering that there is an important OPEC+ meeting on June 25/26 at which they will be considering whether to continue their current production cuts or allow an increase in production amongst its members. Is it then sheer coincidence that this buildup in talk of Iran risks is linked to that meeting? One could imagine a scenario where if the Iranian threat is considered to be real then it would result in a fear of disruptive outages in the region and an upward surge in oil prices - this would encourage OPEC to agree increased production from its members - which, if the threats are actually fabricated would end up boosting oil surplus and pushing prices down significantly - as desired and maybe even planned!
Personally, I think this is all just about keeping the current Iranian regime up against the wall via economic collapse and driving the population to rebel and resulting in a change of regime to better suit the US. The military build up is to ensure that Iran, in its frustration, does not consider doing anything that they might regret!!!
So, at long last, concerning the impact on oil prices! I don’t anticipate a real war in the region. I don’t believe Mr Trump wants that at this time. There may be terrorist attacks but those are limited in impact. OPEC has its own ears to the ground and has also already declared their intention to do everything in their power to maintain a stable balance in oil supplies and prices.
Equities, on yet another hand, are another beast altogether and I readily admit that I have little feel for them. As you know, I already fail to understand why they remain so positive in the US in the light of the trade wars and their impact on companies everywhere.
All in all, I doubt anything catastrophic is going to happen and nothing major in prices of oil or equities…unless, of course, Iran really does do something “regrettable”!
Well, I don’t know if anyone read this far, but if so, then sorry about the novel! Just thinking out loud again!