May 21, 2010
As if uncontrollable economic contagion was not enough for the administration, Obama is now willing to add geopolitical risk to the current extremely precarious economic and financial situation. Over at Debkafile we read that the president has decided to “boost US military strength in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf regions in the short term with an extra air and naval strike forces and 6,000 Marine and sea combatants.” With just one aircraft carrier in proximity to Iran, the Nobel peace prize winner has decided to send a clear message that peace will no longer be tolerated, and has decided to increase the US aircraft carrier presence in the region by a 400-500% CAGR.
Carrier Strike Group 10, headed by the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, sails out of the US Navy base at Norfolk, Virginia Friday, May 21. On arrival, it will raise the number of US carriers off Iranian shores to two. Up until now, President Barack Obama kept just one aircraft carrier stationed off the coast of Iran, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Arabian Sea, in pursuit of his policy of diplomatic engagement with Tehran.
For the first time, too, the US force opposite Iran will be joined by a German warship, the frigate FGS Hessen, operating under American command.
It is also the first time that Obama, since taking office 14 months ago, is sending military reinforcements to the Persian Gulf. Our military sources have learned that the USS Truman is just the first element of the new buildup of US resources around Iran. It will take place over the next three months, reaching peak level in late July and early August. By then, the Pentagon plans to have at least 4 or 5 US aircraft carriers visible from Iranian shores.
The USS Truman’s accompanying Strike Group includes Carrier Air Wing Three (Battle Axe) – which has 7 squadrons – 4 of F/A-18 Super Hornet and F/A-18 Hornet bomber jets, as well as spy planes and early warning E-2 Hawkeyes that can operate in all weather conditions; the Electronic Attack Squadron 130 for disrupting enemy radar systems; and Squadron 7 of helicopters for anti-submarine combat (In its big naval exercise last week, Iran exhibited the Velayat 89 long-range missile for striking US aircraft carriers and Israel warships from Iranian submarines.)
Another four US warships will be making their way to the region to join the USS Truman and its Strike Group. They are the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy and guided missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill, USS Oscar Austin and USS Ross.
We can’t wait for Iran to feel completely unthreatened by this escalation and to decide to take no action whatsoever as the Nobelists push it even more into a corner from which the only escape, to a rational player, would be outright aggression… Which begs the question just how an irrational player would react.