March 24, 2020

With Iran tensions high, a US military command pushes a dubious carrier strategy

Featuring Kaleigh Thomas

Source: Defense News

Journalist David B. Larter

Amid heightened tension with Iran, the U.S. Navy is operating two carriers in the Middle East, and all signs point to increasing pressure from U.S. Central Command to maintain aircraft carrier presence that has ebbed in recent years as the U.S. focuses on competition with China and Russia.

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.

Read the full article and more in Defense News.

Authors

  • Kaleigh Thomas

    Research Associate, Middle East Security Program

    Kaleigh Thomas is the Research Associate for the Middle East Security Program and 2020 recipient of the 1LT Andrew J. Bacevich Jr., USA Award at the Center for a New American ...