Naval build-up in the Gulf

The Nation has a useful round-up of the debate about a possible attack on Iran, along with some disquieting news about US naval movements. Essential reading.

recent ship movements and other signs of
military preparedness could be simply a bluff designed to show toughness
in the bargaining with Iran over its nuclear program. But with the Iranian
coast reportedly armed to the teeth with Chinese Silkworm antiship
missiles, and possibly even more sophisticated Russian antiship weapons,
against which the Navy has little reliable defenses, it seems unlikely
the Navy would risk high-value assets like aircraft carriers or cruisers
with such a tactic. Nor has bluffing been a Bush MO to date. (The Nation)

Essentially, the debate boils down to this: could they really be that stupid? Unfortunately, they’ve got form.






7 responses to “Naval build-up in the Gulf”

  1. Alex avatar

    I call bullshit. There is only one carrier anywhere near the AOR, indeed only one carrier on operations. (data here.)

  2. Tom Griffin avatar

    I hope you’re right, as I had been inclining to the view that the risk of war was receding till I read this. The site seems to be down at the moment, but I recall that some of their interviewees weren’t impressed with their evidence either.

  3. Tom Griffin avatar

    The article is also available at Common Dreams if the link above is is playing up. Apparently, the Eisenhower will shortly be joining the Enterprise in the Gulf.

  4. Alex avatar

    Also, Enterprise is almost due to return. CV deployments take place on a six-month cycle. She left her home port on the 5th of May, and as it’s almost a month’s passage back to the States what with the usual port calls, joint exercises and whatnot, she should be turning her nose homewards in the next two weeks. Eisenhower still has to do a COMPTUEX before she can leave for the WestPac/IO, which will take weeks 2.
    The coalmine canary is Kittyhawk, out of Yokosuka, Japan, as she is the closest carrier to the possible area of interest.

  5. Alex avatar

    Correction – that should read the 2nd of May. She arrived in the Gulf on the 4th of June.
    Funny, I remember everyone on this side of the blogosphere getting their knickers in a twist about, ahem, 5 months ago. I wonder how long it will take them to work it out?
    It’s actually surprising how low the readiness state of the US carrier fleet is at present. It’s the first time I can remember only one being at its post.

  6. Tom Griffin avatar

    So we should expect the same story in another six months then?

  7. Alex avatar

    Yeah. I wouldn’t be at all surprised. That’s if IT doesn’t happen first ‘-)
    Certainly they will need 2 or 3 carriers, and probably another to backfill other crisis zones for the inevitable chaos. So it can’t happen for at least one month from Eisenhower finishing her COMPTUEX, and probably not until the John Stennis completes her current training phase. In that case they would probably want to fetch Enterprise in for extra stores somewhere.

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