world war preparations: update
Got your bag packed for the detention center?
"Nothing's off the table"
Funny thing, but Google news doesn't necessarily bring up all the -well, important stuff like impending war... not even when you punch in key words like "Iran carrier group." But a little persistence, and prior knowledge, can dig up the dirt to some degree. I'd like to know if others have had the experience of finding news data about US war plans on other news search engines, that somehow didn't make it on to mighty Google. In any case, here are a few of the articles I'll probably be using as research for my Thursday morning show on community radio.
9:43 am: U.S.-Iran tensions could trigger accidental war, military and analysts say
By JIM KRANE | Associated Press
January 29, 2007
DOHA, Qatar (AP) - Tensions between the United States and Iran have risen to the point where a war could be kicked off by mistake, an outcome that neither Tehran nor Washington wants, U.S. military officials and private analysts say.
A U.S. military official here likened the current U.S.-Iran standoff to the buildup in hostility in Europe before World War I, when a duke's assassination triggered a tragic war that engulfed a continent.
"A mistake could be made and you could end up in something that neither side ever really wanted, and suddenly it's August 1914 all over again," the U.S. officer said on condition of anonymity, because of the sensitivity of the issue. "I really believe neither side wants a fight."
Iraq is already a proxy battleground between Washington and Tehran, and the U.S. military escalation in the region _ including the recent deployment of a second carrier battle group to the Gulf region and plans to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq _ makes a full-blown war with Iran more likely, said Vali Nasr, an Iran expert at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. [... .]
USS Reagan strike group to deploy again—to Pacific
SAN DIEGO - Barely six months after returning from its maiden deployment, the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan will leave its Coronado pier within weeks for a cruise in the western Pacific Ocean.
Two Navy spokesmen said the Reagan probably will spend several months filling in for the Kitty Hawk, the Japan-based carrier that is unavailable because it's undergoing routine maintenance. The sources requested anonymity because Pentagon policy forbids them from providing such information before an official announcement. [... .]
Note the following, revealing deployment, from a puff piece about the Boxer:
Boxer is the flagship for Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group which is currently conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in support of U.S. 5th Fleet. MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander U.S. 5th Fleet's area of responsibility encompasses about 7.5 million square miles and includes the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 27 countries, includes three critical chokepoints at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.
And then there is this operational change:
PHIBGRU 2 Becomes ESG 2
Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2 Public Affairs Office
Commander, Amphibious Group (CPG) 2 was disestablished Dec. 31, and commissioned as Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2, culminating nearly a year of preparation to become an operational command ready to deploy to the Middle East.
CPG 2 provided valuable insight and training during two exercises this past year for the establishment of an expeditionary platform that will take the command from an administrative position at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va., to a fully operational command based in Bahrain in February.
"CPG2 was an administrative staff that trained, manned and equipped our expeditionary forces on the Atlantic coast," said Rear Adm. Garry Hall, Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2. "Our new role is more operational, and these exercises gave us an insight into how to plan and conduct operations at the joint task force level."
The new Expeditionary Strike Group 2 will conduct all amphibious and expeditionary operations in the Gulf region from Bahrain.
Hall, and several members of his staff, embarked aboard USS Bataan (LHD 5) in November as a deployable command element while the Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) conducted its Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).
"We embarked Bataan to show our ability to command and control and reach back to my staff in Little Creek, Va.," said Hall. "Our visit to Bataan proves the concept that we can scale our staff, deploy and join the MEU and amphibious squadron to command from at-sea."
"Our forces can expect to be used in a very flexible and efficient manner as we support land forces ashore and as we engage in the theater," said Hall. "Any time an ESG, an amphibious squadron or a MEU deploys, they are used in a multitude of events. They should expect the unexpected and be prepared for any mission to come their way."
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(Media-Newswire.com) - USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea ( NNS ) -- Elements of the USS John C. Stennis ( CVN 74 ) Carrier Strike Group left San Diego, Jan. 20, after picking up Carrier Air Wing ( CVW ) 9, and began steaming west toward the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which left its Bremerton, Wash., homeport Jan. 16, spent one day in port on-loading the air wing, and departed San Diego with the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam ( CG 54 ) and guided missile destroyer USS Preble ( DDG 88 ).
The guided missile destroyers USS O'Kane ( DDG 77 ) and USS Paul Hamilton ( DDG 60 ), homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, will join the group in transit.
Stennis and its strike group are scheduled to enter 5th Fleet's area of operation and provide support to U.S. and coalition forces operating there.
"We will support Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, the Horn of Africa and maritime security operations with the purpose to provide regional and global stability," said Rear Adm. Kevin Quinn, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 3. "We've been preparing for this deployment for more than one year, we have trained and trained so that we are completely combat ready."
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There's this Big Amerikkkan Oink from AP, following Bush' absurd claim that he was engaged in diplomatic negotiations with Iran:
"Nicholas Burns, the U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, ruled out direct U.S. negotiations with Iran and said a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran was "not possible" until Iran halts its enrichment of uranium. "The Middle East isn't a region to be dominated by Iran. The Gulf isn't a body of water to be controlled by Iran. That's why we've seen the United States station two carrier battle groups in the region," Burns said in an address to the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center, an influential think-tank. "Iran is going to have to understand that the United States will protect its interests if Iran seeks to confront us," Burns continued."
And from Worldmag.com: "In Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings earlier this month, Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) pressed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on whether the Bush administration was planning to invade Iran or Syria.
"Nothing is off the table," Rice said. "
[I wonder if there's anyone who hasn't noticed that "nothing off the table" is US doublespeak for "we shall attack soon."]
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