“It's unusual to highlight the movement of strategic weapon systems like an Ohio-class submarine,” says Jonathan Lord, Director of the Middle East Security program at the Center for a New American Security. “It really speaks to the administration's efforts to keep Hezbollah and other actors from joining this fight and opening new fronts against Israel.”
For some experts, the announcement was a sign that the U.S. government does not think that the specter of a wider conflict has dissipated yet. “You don’t do the types of deployments (and messaging) the administration is doing in the region right now unless you have good reason to worry” about escalation, Eric Brewer, a nuclear weapons policy expert at the Nuclear Threat Initiative wrote on X.
Given the range of the Tomahawk missiles, as well as submarine’s capabilities, Lord says that the deployment is “probably focused more on threats in and around the Mediterranean. That said, those missiles can range much further than northern Lebanon.”
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