Sunday, February 18, 2007

Iran - US Ready to Attack

Iran is aware of the US war preparations and in an Iranian press article mentions that six US carriers and a similar number of amphib carriers could be off of Iran within a month.
Two carriers in the region, the USS John C Stennis and the USS Dwight D Eisenhower, could quickly be joined by three more now at sea: USS Ronald Reagan, USS Harry S Truman and USS Theodore Roosevelt, as well as by USS Nimitz. Each carrier force includes hundreds of cruise missiles.

Then there are the marines, who are not tied down fighting in Iraq. Several marine forces are assembling, each with its own aircraft carrier. These carrier forces can each conduct a version of the D-Day landings. They come with landing craft, tanks, jump-jets, thousands of troops and, yes, hundreds more cruise missiles. Their task is to destroy Iranian forces able to attack oil tankers and to secure oilfields and installations. They have trained for this mission since the Iranian revolution of 1979.

Today, marines have the USS Boxer and USS Bataan carrier forces in the Gulf and probably also the USS Kearsarge and USS Bonhomme Richard. Three others, the USS Peleliu, USS Wasp and USS Iwo Jima, are ready to join them. Earlier this year, HQ staff to manage these forces was moved from Virginia to Bahrain....

Sources in the region as well as trade journals confirm that the US has built three bases in Azerbaijan that could be transit points for troops and with facilities equal to its best in Europe.
NYT - Iran accuses US of supplying bomb materials to its insurgents

Iran accused the United States and Pakistan of arming and basing Sunni insurgents who killed 11 people in Zahedan last week. A confession of the group leader and a photo of the US material was provided by Iran. Some evidence that the photo was manipulated and expanded from a smaller number of items provided by the men with little green balls.

ADDED: Natasha highlights the Democrats talking sense on Iran.

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Anonymous said...

Take this article with a bucket of salt. Yes, we could strip the Taiwan Straits of any carrier presence by sending the USS Reagan to Iran, but would we? Check around the net and see that the Truman and Roosevelt are undergoing normal inter-deployment training exercises in the Atlantic. Same sorts of normal activities with the USS Kearsarge. This author needs a lot more than a "could quickly" before he throws around claims like this.

Of course the Navy could be faking all this "normal" coverage to hide the fact that all 12 US aircraft carriers are squeezed into the Persian Gulf. In that case, I would be an agent of the Evil Empire bent on keeping the blogosphere in the dark.

Don't believe everything you read online. With a Socialist website like the New Statesman, it is good policy to "Trust but verify."

Gary said...


There are a high number of carriers on exercises or just ending exercises. I stand by my prediction there is a greater than 50/50 chance Bush-Cheney will attack around April 15.

The New Statesmen is not cited in the article - that is from the Iranian press service that repeats an observation I made.

Anonymous said...

Check out the end of the Iranian article:

This article was published by the New Statesman and posted by the Paris-based Iran Va Jahan website on 16 February.
[emphasis added]

Also, from what I could glean from military related websites, the COMPTUEX exercise that the USS Nimitz is conducting is the first training op that the newly reconstituted strike group undergoes as a unit - very early in the training cycle. The reported reason for the USS Reagan's sudden deployment is that the USS Kitty Hawk is starting a maintenance period during which the USS Stennis was originally scheduled to perform it's duties. Obviously that was going to be impossible.

My question is: Why would the administration make a big deal out of sending a second carrier to the gulf, fail to cover up the movements of the USS Boxer and USS Bataan but then go to elaborate measures, including faked training exercises, to obscure the deployments of their other carriers?

To my mind, two Carrier Strike Groups and two Expeditionary Strike Groups is more than enough to mount the sort of attack that is most probable, a missile and air strike on Iranian military and nuclear sites. A prolonged ground offensive would be insane even for this administration.

As to an April 15 launch date? Can't think of any reason why not, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected: From the highly respected StratFor:

Even if the Eisenhower returns and the Truman moves into the region, the United States would demonstrate its ability to maintain two carriers in one place for an extended period of time. However, if this potential surge goes beyond three carrier strike groups, the USS Nimitz and the USS Roosevelt -- like the Reagan -- are at stages in their operational cycles at which they could be deployed on relatively short notice if needed.

Read the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

One more thought - the USS Stennis may be positioned to assist against the expected spring offensive in that other war in Afghanistan. The threats to Iran could be opportunistic propaganda and intended to cover up our sense insecurity in the face of the resurgent Taliban.

Not my first choice for interpretations but the lead up to Iraq taught nothing if not that we should at least consider alternative explanations.

Gary said...

I stand corrected on the original source of the Iranian press article. I have been observing force movements for quite a while though.