Tuesday, May 15, 2007

On the shelf, at least for now

Although Michael Klare brought the issue up recently and Cheney did his jaunt last week, we haven't heard much of late about US carrier groups in and around the Persian Gulf.

Gareth Porter says that this is probably because Admiral William Fallon, the newly appointed CENTCOM head, vetoed the proposed addition of a third carrier group and allegedly "vowed privately there would be no war against Iran as long as he was chief of CENTCOM." Not coincidentally, the Bush administration has recently shifted its overt posture on Iran towards a more restrained, diplomatic line.

Echoing Klare, Porter claims that the Nimitz was originally supposed to join the Stennis and Eisenhower groups -- not the Reagan, as looked likely, although its early deployment was probably related to the overall shift in naval resources. The Nimitz did indeed pull into the Gulf earlier this month, but the Eisenhower rotated out upon its arrival.