Friday, March 30, 2007

Nimitz Heading for Persian Gulf

I wish Congress had made clear its objection to the possibility of Bush's third war, this one in Iran. Three aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf will make for a tense period even if the Eisenhower is heading home. Here's the story from the Navy Times:
More than 6,000 sailors are spending their last weekend at home before the aircraft carrier Nimitz leaves its San Diego pier Monday on a course for the Persian Gulf.

Nimitz, a nuclear-powered carrier based at North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado, Calif., will replace the Norfolk, Va.-based Eisenhower and its carrier strike group and join the John C. Stennis carrier strike group in the Persian Gulf and Horn of Africa regions.

The pairing of the carriers is part of a beefed-up presence of U.S. and coalition naval forces “demonstrating the United States’ ability to build regional stability and bring long-term stability to the region,” Naval Air Forces officials said in a statement Friday.

The strike group will join the broader force in maritime security operations, including the boarding of suspicious vessels.

That last sentence bothers me. In fact, I'm bothered by how the British allowed their sailors to be captured. If you're doing embargoes in this era and you're boarding ships, you better have the force to protect your sailors from intruders in relatively narrow waterways essentially shared by both Iran and Iraq. I'm not at all satisfied with the explanations for what happened.

For some time, Bush has been looking for an excuse to ratchet up the tensions with Iran. Ratcheting up tensions might be useful if he had a plan which of course would be unusual for the White House.

Bush has given us a strategic failure in Iraq. Going to war with Iran will do nothing to undo that strategic failure. Will it happen? Will we have a third war? Logic says we won't, but logic has not been known to operate effectively in Bush's foreign policy.

We have gained nothing by Bush's war in Iraq. And we will risk losing much if we decide to stretch our resources with a war with Iran (and Iran potentially could lose a great deal more than it realizes). War is not inevitable but the fools in the Bush Administration, unfortunately, are matched by a set of fools in Tehran. There are level-headed people on both sides but it's not clear that they will prevail. The clock is ticking. And the use of nuclear weapons is potentially at hand. If the American people do not wish to be saddled with another Bush Administration fiasco, a potentially bigger fiasco I might add, now would be a good time to speak up.

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Anonymous pluky said...

The Nimitz does not have to enter the Persian Gulf to have tactical significance. War game simulations call from three carrier groups in the area: two in the Persian Gulf proper, one in the Gulf of Aden to defend access to the Straits of Hormuz.

1:24 PM  

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