The Pentagon has decided to send home the only naval aircraft carrier operating in the Middle East, a move that will reduce US firepower in the region amid increasing tensions with Iran.
Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller (Christopher Miller) announced the decision on Thursday, the day after the Air Force B-52 bomber uninterrupted flight from the United States to the Persian Gulf, military officials said it was to warn Iran. Attack American forces or interests.
The dispatch of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz as the hometown of the West Coast of the United States seems to contradict the idea of the need to use force to deter Iran. This may reflect disagreements within the defense agency on whether Iran poses a higher threat to strikes during the decline of the Trump administration.
When announcing the decision to send Nimitz home, Miller did not mention Iran.
Earlier this week, a U.S. military officer close to the situation told reporters that the U.S. has found signs that Iran is preparing for possible attacks on U.S. or Allied targets in Iraq or other parts of the Middle East. The official said that this was the reason why two B-52 bombers were sent across the Gulf briefly from the United States on Wednesday. The official declined to be named to discuss internal assessments.
President Donald Trump recently invoked the “chh”
“Some friendly health advice to Iran: If an American is killed, I will be responsible to Iran. Think about it carefully,” Trump wrote on December 23. He added: “We have heard more attacks on Iraqis.
The US’s concerns are related to the approaching anniversary of the US air strike on January 3, which killed Iran’s supreme commander General Qassem Soleimani. Iran initially retaliated by carrying out a ballistic missile strike at a military base in neighboring Iraq. The attack caused dozens of concussion injuries, but the US military did not die. But US officials worry that Iran may be planning further retaliation.
As the potential for escalation may lead to a wider war, the United States has been trying to prevent Iran from other attacks. Washington’s political transition to the Biden administration may seek new ways to deal with Iran, making the strategic calculations of both sides more complicated. President-elect Biden said, for example, that he hopes the United States will return to Iran’s agreement with Iran in exchange for the 2015 agreement with international sanctions to lift its nuclear activities.
Since the USS Abraham Lincoln was dispatched in May 2019, the United States has maintained a near-continuous presence of aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf because of concerns that Iran is considering attacking US interests in the region. The United States also sent more land-based attack aircraft and re-established a force in Saudi Arabia.
The Nimitz was deployed from the United States in April and was originally scheduled to return at the end of this year. In early December, the original return plan was postponed, partly because of concerns about potential threats to Iran. Recently, it was ordered to provide support to the coastal areas of Somalia to support the withdrawal of US troops from the country.