Saturday, May 05, 2007

USS Eisenhower Heading Home

Maybe there's a reason the price of oil has dropped in the last few days (not that it has much impact on the price of gasoline, though): the USS Eisenhower is heading home; here's the story:
The nearly 6,000 sailors aboard ships of the Norfolk-based USS Eisenhower Strike Group are through the Suez Canal and headed for home.

That ends the group’s deployment to the 5th Fleet area, which includes the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.

Although Dick Cheney and George W. Bush are ducking investigations right and left in Washington for their various misdeeds, there's still potential for mischief; here's that story from Michael T. Klare in Mother Jones:
Today, the Nimitz is rapidly approaching the Persian Gulf, where it will join two other U.S. aircraft carriers and the French carrier Charles De Gaulle in the largest concentration of naval firepower in the region since the launching of the U.S. invasion of Iraq four years ago.

Why this concentration now? Officially, the Nimitz is on its way to the Gulf to replace the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which is due to return to the United States for crew leave and ship maintenance after months on station. But the U.S. Central Command (Centcom), which exercises command authority over all U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf area, refuses to say when the Eisenhower will actually depart -- or even when the Nimitz will arrive.

If the first story is true about the USS Eisenhower going through the Suez Canal and heading home, we're back to two US carrier groups; that would lower the tensions in the Persian Gulf. Let's hope that's the case.

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