Aircraft Carrier Stennis Being Sent to Persian Gulf
Jan 09, 2007
Last September, I reported that the Eisenhower Carrier Group was being sent to the Persian Gulf months ahead of schedule, supposedly to replace the Enterprise Group. The Boxer Group was already there conducting military exercises and is still there, along with the USS Dubuque.
It looked like a naval buildup that might have been for the purpose of an attack on Iran. That immediate crisis subsided when the Enterprise Group left the Persian Gulf as scheduled. But now the President is planning to send the Stennis to the Persian Gulf, not to replace the Eisenhower, but as a genuine buildup of naval forces.
The Eisenhower Group is currently said to be in the nearby Indian Ocean, as is the USS Ashland.
What does all this mean? It might be just scare tactics for Iran's benefit. But it certainly does bring a certain capability for war and raises the stakes once again. Recently, President Bush appointed Admiral Fallon as the top military head of the Iraq war. This unusual step obviously foresees a greater role for the aircraft carrier groups in the days ahead.
The President might be seeing an April deadline for any attack on Iran. Prime Minister Tony Blair is scheduled to step down in April, ending the Bush-Blair-Olmert pro-war triumvirate.