Persian Gulf Watch 11/09

Well, the elections came and went without a perfidious surprise over Iran. So — take warning, when the speculative screaming begins, get sceptical. However, it’s worth keeping an eye on the Persian Gulf where the USS Boxer just joined the USS Eisenhower and assorted other war ships, having come from the west coast of India. That’s a big group of ships

Boxer Enters 5th Fleet Ops.

And why are there so many ships there? Is it, indeed, just for some war games, after which they will thin out, some departing, others cruising the Gulf and the Arabian Sea to the south? How about this for an interesting piece of news:

Abqaiq [attacked by Al Qaeda in Feb of 2006] was assigned – in public, at least – to the category of forlorn attempts by al-Qaida to gain publicity for a losing cause.

The military fallout

The matter might have rested there but for two unexpected developments: the recent, sudden interest by the United States navy in the security of Saudi oil-export facilities, and information from several reliable sources that the Abqaiq attack was much more serious than either Saudi Aramco or the Saudi government has admitted.

The Saudi decision to allow ships of the US fifth fleet to guard the Ras Tanura export terminal is certainly unexpected and not without risk.

As George Bush said in one of his closing campaign speeches last week: just imagine what would happen if forces unfriendly to the United States controlled or were able to disrupt our energy supplies….

Abqaiq’s Message to Washington

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