Monday, June 28, 2010

Oh No...

As unconfirmed reports of an imminent Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities pick up steam in the Middle Eastern media, a US-based strategic intelligence company has released a chart showing US naval carriers massing near Iranian waters. (via)

4 comments:

Cheryl Rofer said...

I distrust Stratfor, but there have been reports of US warships in the Persian Gulf for at least a week now.

And then there's this. Ahmadinejad learned one lesson from Saddam Hussein's fall, but not the critical one.

Andy said...

This is a complete non-story. The Stratfor graph is a regular product and simply shows the locations of current Naval forces. The article isn't based on any kind of Stratfor analysis.

The author of this piece wrongly believes that two carriers near Iran represents a "massing" of naval forces. That's simply not true. We've kept at least one carrier group near the Persian Gulf on a continuous basis for more than 20 years. About 1/3 of the time we've had two operating in 5th Fleet's area of responsibility. The main reason for two carriers is that one carrier group comes in and relieves the group currently on station. This happens approximately every four months, but varies depending on a host of factors. Judging from when these two groups deployed, this is exactly what's occuring now.

Bottom line is that this piece is sensationalist drivel by a reporter who didn't bother to research normal patterns of naval activity before jumping to a conclusion.

John Shreffler said...

Andy, you're right on. I've been tracking carrier movements for 6 years now. The CW is that you need 3 carriers for an Iran strike. The only other carrier underway is the Reagan, headed for a scheduled exercise in the Pacific. Ike has been on station since January, a 6 month tour is standard for carrier groups, so Truman showing up looks like SOP. Nothing to see here, unless 2 weeks from now Ike's still there and Reagan blows off the exercise. Right now, it smells normal.

John Shreffler said...

And the Ike goes home on July 2nd, with the Truman relieving:

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=54336

Normal rotation. Nothing to see here folks.