Thursday, February 3, 2011

Where are the Carriers? Update (2 Feb 2011)

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Over the last week, the US has brought two new carrier strike groups into the Mideast, bringing the total to three.  With the LHD USS Kearsarge still doing pirate patrol in the Gulf of Aden, we really have 4 aircraft carrier groups in the Mideast (since an LHD is basically an aircraft carrier setup mostly for Marine Corps helicopters/Ospreys).  It is highly unusual for us to have this many ships in the region.

The USS Carl Vinson came scooting in from Malaysia/Indonesia, covering quite a distance in a very short period of time.  The USS Enterprise, "after a port visit to Lisbon, Portugal" (which must have been a very quick port visit indeed), is now steaming in the Med.

I would guess that the Carl Vinson's presence is a reaction to the destabilization of Egypt, and that the original plan was to have the Enterprise relieve the Abraham Lincoln in the normal rotation.  Regardless, we now have (or very soon will have) an exceptionally large force in theater.

If Reagan or Bush or the other Bush were in office -- or even Clinton -- I would expect to see some fireworks.  But this Obama guy seems to be big on show with never any substance.  I suppose we are there "to show support for our friends and allies" -- which these days means the House of Saud and the Hashemite King.

I would still be really uncomfortable about taking the Enterprise strike group through the Suez Canal.  I guess we will see what happens.

Click the image below to go to STRATFOR and see a larger version.


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