Taking time out from being the coronavirus grim-reaper, demented Trump continues his reckless insanity in the Middle East
Trump’s New Iran Strategy Is Both Reckless and Useless, all while that country is swamped by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Trump regime has been doing other things besides not doing enough about the pandemic. For example, it’s been playing a little chicken in the Arabian Sea. From Defense News:
The Navy announced March 20 that aircraft carriers Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman, and their respective escorts, are operating with a B-52 bomber in the Arabian Sea to demonstrate “combined joint capability and interoperability to plan and conduct multi-task force operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.” The image of two carriers operating together in the Arabian Sea recalled the late-2010 decision by then-CENTCOM head Gen. Jim Mattis to force the Navy to surge two carriers to the Arabian Gulf as the Obama administration pursued a carrot-and-stick approach to force Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program.
The two-carrier presence requirement in place for more than two years exacted an enormous toll on the service, with Navy leaders warning it was unsustainable. The two-carrier presence nearly broke the Navy’s ability to project power with its carriers and sent deployments skyrocketing to nine months and more as the readiness accounts depleted to dangerous levels. Now, with tensions escalating over rocket attacks on U.S. bases that have killed American personnel, the Navy is once again being asked to show the flag.
The Trump regime has been pushing hard on Iran as that country gets swamped by the pandemic. But the presence of the two carrier groups has defense experts worried that the deployment is both reckless and useless.
“It’s an asinine strategy,” said Bryan Clark, a former senior aide to the chief of naval operations and now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. “The Iranians don’t perceive carriers [as] a threat to their ability to project power because they project power through gray zone activities and terrorism — the kinds of things that carriers aren’t very good at dealing with.”
“And when they are inside the Persian Gulf, the Iranians perceive them as being an easy target. They can range the entire gulf with shore batteries along the coast in caves and other terrain where it’s hard to root them out,” he added. “So the Iranians see the carrier as a way to get the Americans to spend a lot of money on a show of force that doesn’t really impact their strategic calculation.”…
“It adds little value, especially if you look at just the slice of history that is this past year,” Thomas said. “The U.S. already sent a carrier group, and if that wasn’t a deterrent against Iran given the escalatory actions taken by Iran over the past couple of months, I don’t see how maintaining those carriers there for an indefinite period of time is somehow the defining feature of a successful deterrent strategy.”
One of the latest nostrums out of Camp Run-a-muck is that we should re-open the country because “the country can do two things at a time.” One thing we ought to know is that this regime can certainly screw up two things at a time. We should keep an eye on this situation, too.
Edited from “Trump’s New Iran Strategy Is Both Reckless and Useless” in Esquire by Charles P. Pierce