Thursday, December 21, 2006

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/21/world/middleeast/21navy.html

U.S. and Britain to Add Ships to Persian Gulf in Signal to Iran

NY Times, 12/21/06WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 — The United States and Britain will begin moving additional warships and strike aircraft into the Persian Gulf region in a display of military resolve toward Iran that will come as the United Nations continues to debate possible sanctions against the country, Pentagon and military officials said Wednesday.

The officials said that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates was expected this week to approve a request by commanders for a second aircraft carrier and its supporting ships to be stationed within quick sailing distance of Iran by early next year.

Senior American officers said the increase in naval power should not be viewed as preparations for any offensive strike against Iran. But they acknowledged that the ability to hit Iran would be increased and that Iranian leaders might well call the growing presence provocative.

One purpose of the deployment, they said, is to make clear that the focus on ground troops in Iraq has not made it impossible for the United States and its allies to maintain a military watch on Iran.

That would also reassure Washington’s allies in the region (NWN:Israel) who are concerned about Iran’s intentions. The officials said the planned growth in naval power in the gulf and surrounding waters would be useful in enforcing any sanctions that the United Nations might impose as part of Washington’s strategy to punish Iran for what it sees as ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons.

And the buildup would address another concern: that Iran could try to block oil shipments from the gulf in retaliation for United Nations sanctions or other American-led pressure.

No comments:

What a morning……pffft… 8:00am. I made a snowman. 8:10 A feminist passed by and asked me why I hadn’t made a snow woman. 8:15 I made a s...