Carrier Task Force to Middle East

A recent analyis piece in the Nation suggested that the deployment of a carrier task force to the Middle East was sign certain of Bush plans for attacking Iran. I’m not so sure.

The aircraft carrier Eisenhower, fresh from refueling and overhaul at Northrop Grumman Newport News, sails Tuesday from Norfolk to relieve the USS Enterprise in the Middle East.

Commanded by Rear Adm. Allen G. Myers, the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group also includes the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio, guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage, guided-missile destroyer USS Mason and the fast-attack submarine USS Newport News.

The Enterprise group, being relieved, is almost the identical composition: the cruiser USS Leyte Gulf, the destroyer USS McFaul, the frigate USS Nicholas and the attack submarine USS Alexandria.

Daily Press: Newport News

This is not to say that Bush isn’t thinking about attacking Iran, or that he wants Iran to think he is thinking about attacking them. It is not to say that other information has not dribbled into the public sphere suggesting something is afoot (er, afloat). It is not to say that this carrier group, as the one it is replacing has been, won’t be sending lethal weapons to cities, towns and hamlets thousands of miles away. It is not to say that force projection of this magnitude is necessary or defensible. It is only to say that the deployment of a carrier task force is not a proof, or even a substantial piece of evidence as to new madness. Now, if the Enterprise group were stay, instead of returning, or if the 7th Fleet carrier group in and around Japan were to head to the Gulf of Oman — then we would properly fear the October Surprise was more than man-kisses-boy last minute headlines…

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