Wednesday, August 13, 2008
US Naval Deployment
USS Iwo Jima
Largest Naval Deployment
Since 1991 Heads For Persian Gulf
The largest naval deployment since 1991 is unfolding as no less than three U.S. warships make their way towards the Persian Gulf in what observers are calling an “unprecedented” build-up, while Kuwait has activated its highest war alert in anticipation of a potential attack on Iran.
According to reports, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the USS Ronald Reagan, and the USS Iwo Jima are steaming towards Middle East waters to reinforce the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Peleliu which are already in the region.
They will be joined by a British Royal Navy carrier battle group and a French nuclear hunter-killer submarine.
The maneuvers represent the largest movement of warships into the region since the 1991 Gulf War and come just a week after Operation Brimstone, a drill “which saw more than a dozen warships from US, British and French naval forces conduct war games in the Atlantic Ocean in preparation for a possible confrontation with Iran,” reports Press TV.
The deployment has fueled rumors that Georgia’s sneak attack on Russia in South Ossetia, backed by the U.S. and Israel, was a shot across the bow to warn Russia against interfering in a strike on Iran which could be imminent.
Kuwait has activated its highest priority Emergency War Plan in response to the naval deployment.
“Kuwait was caught by surprise last time, when Iraqi troops invaded the small emirate and routed the Kuwaiti army in just a few hours,” a former US diplomat to Kuwait told the Middle East Times.
The Israeli news source Debka File speculates that the U.S. naval deployment could have five alternate implications.
1. The US, aided also by France, Britain and Canada, is finalizing preparations for a partial naval blockade to deny Iran imports of benzene and other refined oil products. This action would indicate that the Bush administration had thrown in the towel on stiff United Nations sanctions and decided to take matters in its own hands.
2. Iran, which imports 40 percent of its refined fuel products from Gulf neighbors, will retaliate for the embargo by shutting the Strait of Hormuz oil route chokepoint, in which case the US naval and air force stand ready to reopen the Strait and fight back any Iranian attempt to break through the blockade.
3. Washington is deploying forces as back-up for a possible Israeli military attack on Iran’s nuclear installations.
4. A potential rush of events in which a US-led blockade, Israeli attack and Iranian reprisals pile up in a very short time and precipitate a major military crisis.
5. While a massive deployment of this nature calls for long planning, its occurrence at this time cannot be divorced from the flare-up of the Caucasian war between Russia and Georgia. While Russia has strengthened its stake in Caspian oil resources by its overwhelming military intervention against Georgia, the Americans are investing might in defending the primary Persian Gulf oil sources of the West and the Far East.
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