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March 28, 2007

"Show Of Force" Iran

The US Navy is staging a huge "show of force" in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Iran. But what they're really doing, whether they acknowledge it to themselves or not, is positioning a whole bunch of sitting duck targets where any nut with a missile can start World War III. AP:

The U.S. Navy on Tuesday began its largest demonstration of force in the Persian Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, led by a pair of aircraft carriers and backed by warplanes flying simulated attack maneuvers off the coast of Iran.

The maneuvers bring together two strike groups of U.S. warships and more than 100 U.S. warplanes to conduct simulated air warfare in the crowded Gulf shipping lanes. [...]

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kevin Aandahl said the U.S. maneuvers were not organized in response to the capture of the British sailors - nor were they meant to threaten the Islamic Republic, whose navy operates in the same waters. [...]

Overall, the exercises involve more than 10,000 U.S. personnel on warships and aircraft making simulated attacks on enemy shipping with aircraft and ships, hunting enemy submarines and finding mines.

"What it should be seen as by Iran or anyone else is that it's for regional stability and security," Aandahl said. "These ships are just another demonstration of that. If there's a destabilizing effect, it's Iran's behavior." [Emphasis added]

"It's for regional stability and security." They think we're idiots.

Meanwhile, the Navy seems to be proving it's not immune to the sort of self-aggrandizement that led the other services to think they could crush Iraq like a bug. We see how that's working out.

The truth is that surface navies are an anachronism in a world where missiles are freely available on the international black market and non-State actors have learned that First World militaries are like big, blind, and very stupid elephants. Look what Hezbollah did to Israel, and what the Taliban in Afghanistan and a mixed bag of insurgents in Iraq are doing to the US. It's the Navy's turn now largely because that's about the only thing the US has left in reserve.

And what happens if some US ships get sunk? Nuclear war? Is that what they want, at the end of the day? Let us hope not, but one thing is certain — by positioning all those ships as sitting ducks they've created a hair-trigger that could cause things to ratchet up very, very quickly. It's madness.

Dems in Congress, take notice. Quickly.

[Thanks, Miles]

Posted by Jonathan at March 28, 2007 07:25 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb

Comments

"If there's a destabilizing effect, it's Iran's behavior."

Because we'd only be defending the free world, right? Ira Chernus nails it:

"[...] we kill only because others are out to ambush and kill us. We are by definition the victims, the innocents, never the perpetrators. That whitewashes our motives, whatever they may actually be.

To go on believing that we are virtuous, we must go on seeing ourselves as profoundly insecure, as beset by enemies, as invariably simply defending ourselves out there on the planetary frontiers of an aggressive, dangerous world; out there on what the President -- referring to remote regions of Pakistan -- called 'wild country; this is wilder than the Wild West.'"

http://tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=170608

Posted by: Michael at March 29, 2007 12:11 PM