Where Are the Carriers?

Over the last few weeks, Stratfor, a global intelligence site, has provided updates on the approximate location of the American carrier fleet. According to Stratfor’s estimates, two carriers are operating in or near the Persian Gulf, another is operating in the Pacific near the Philippines, and two others are under way in the Atlantic Ocean. Four other carriers are non-deployable, and two are in their home ports.

The locations of these carriers are a key indicator of potential U.S. military activity, and could be key harbingers of a future American strike on Iran’s nuclear program, should the President decide to order one. Two carriers have been in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf for several weeks now, and a third passed through the region in early January.

Military analysts will be continuing to keenly observe U.S. aircraft carrier deployments to determine the likelihood of American action against the Iranians.

About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Finance executive, engineer, former military officer, and science fiction and horror writer. Editor of the Weird World War III anthology.
This entry was posted in Defense, Energy Security, International Security, Middle East, Nuclear Power, Nuclear proliferation, Policy, War and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Where Are the Carriers?

  1. Scott Erb says:

    I appreciate these updates – I’m trying to follow the situation, and your posts certainly help!

  2. VR Kaine says:

    Going to throw in an opinion here that may buck the evidence: I’m thinking the carrier movements are more a show of strength to put pressure on Iran rather than part of an intention to actually strike. I think the political climate is far too sensitive for such a move – at least for a Democratic President so close to an election.

    Instead, I’m guessing that if the sites need taking out, the U.S. is going to “let” Israel do it with the U.S. standing right behind them to discourage (or defend against) any sort of retaliation by Iran. This puts the most pressure on Iran, will show strong support for Israel by the US, show a strong President not afraid to go to war if he has to, and still gives little Akkie an out where he saves some face. Also, it keeps Akkie small – he doesn’t get elevated up by his people as the man to defy and take on the entire U.S. military.

    Not saying this is necessarily right, but it’s how I see it from a “business competitive” perspective.

    Should I be wrong and the US actually goes in there and kicks some butt, however, I’ll be the first to grab some popcorn and enjoy the show. 60″ screen, surround sound, the whole bit. Haha!

    • “Going to throw in an opinion here that may buck the evidence: I’m thinking the carrier movements are more a show of strength to put pressure on Iran rather than part of an intention to actually strike. I think the political climate is far too sensitive for such a move – at least for a Democratic President so close to an election.”

      You are right. The problem is that they are both a show of strength and intent. The problem for the Iranians is that they will never know if the US is just demonstrating or preparing for an attack. All they do know is that any attack would require at least two or more carriers.

  3. Lisa says:

    It does not seem to me to be a show – it looks quite real and it is a good indicator of intent and capability, as was the recent Chinese submarine ICBM launch off LA. Is it plausible that the business in the south china sea is a screening maneuver to tie up Chinese ships while the real business is the Syria-Iran “target”? There is an interesting interview vis a vis the Syria business at: http://tinyurl.com/7jdsxd6 (youtube video, sorry). This and the presence of a few minor Russian ships at Tarus as, reasonably, tripwires (Russian nuclear doctrine is that if they’re targeted with modern precision weapons, they’ll use nukes – for sure, they say). The NATO summit, which ends on the 21st, and the reports of preparations for evacuation of Chicago seem to imply an anticipated (presumably chemical or biological) “attack” on that city – which of course would be blamed on Syria. This, together with the moonrise over Damascus on the 21st (at about 2:45 AM) and the war-game “Eager Lion” in Northern Jordan, just over the mountains from Damascus, might, some say, be seen as harbingers of proximate nuclear war. Further, let’s consider just how the scene might look with several capital USN ships (carriers) sunk – something that is reported to have been the outcome of DoD war-games – together with Hezbola [sic], which is said to have added guidance to their 150,000 short range tactical rockets – all aimed at key targets in Israel, including Dimona. If this goes forth the outcome may well be simply unspeakable.

    • VR Kaine says:

      My opinion on this has changed after hearing more about the Iran-Syria connection.

      • Lisa says:

        Perhaps Mr Hazlett has also developed a more refined view as well. I’m sure than we’d appreciate his present-day thoughts, particularly so as he is assumed to have formal educational experience in Strategy and theory… I sure would. I doubt that popcorn is going to be what we all wish for…

        • VR Kaine says:

          What??????? Oh… wait… you’re THAT Lisa. Good God.

          “Perhaps Mr Hazlett has also developed a more refined view as well.”
          Or perhaps I was the only one dumb enough to respond to you. Now you’re back with supposedly a corner on “refined views” that all of us are now supposed to compare ours to? Wow. Thanks for gracing us with your presence and laying down another ad hominem attack-in-waiting.

          “I’m sure than we’d appreciate his present-day thoughts, particularly so as he is assumed to have formal educational experience in Strategy and theory… I sure would.”
          Yep – there it is! See last comment about attack-in-waiting. Don’t see you posting your transcripts online yet, genius, or you showing us all your pictures from your time spent in Iran. Come to think of it, we have no proof here that you’re even out of diapers yet (or off your pills).

          Regardless, the last time you were crab-crawling backwards up flights of stairs and spewing pea soup on everyone in the room, it was suggested that if you’re going to attack someone’s credibility you should have the guts to put your own out there – either through posted credentials, your own blog, whatever – yet here you are still posting anonymously.

          I say if you haven’t grown up since the last time, then prepare to be ignored (again).

          • Lisa says:

            Pax Vobiscum, friend. Alas, you’ve mistaken me for another person. The ad hominium form of rhetoric does not become you. Some say that this form, by avoiding logic, is an indicator of agreement. Again, you’ve mistaken one person for another.

            • VR Kaine says:

              Still skeptical – the attack sounded eerily similar to the ones made by “Lisa” before, but if I am in fact incorrect then I’ll be the first to apologize to you and the blog for the mistake.

              • I think you might be confusing Lisa with Shannon, maybe?

              • Lisa says:

                No apology is called for so far as I am concerned. Things happen. At 63 I’ve done and said many things that I regret, but we move on, not sweating the small stuff. But, I do not see anything here that looks like an attack, and certainly I had no desire or intent to attack anyone or any statement, so I must have failed to express myself clearly – thus I apologize to y’all. I was and am very interested in the opinions, particularly, of Sean – as his formal military education is recent and more thorough than my dated and largely amateur knowledge. I’ll add here, for what it’s worth, that my interest is in the metaphysics of conflict, not what’s called “politics”. These days we are treated to wonderful examples of conflict as objects of study, eh? One example I like is the decision made in ’62 on one of the Soviet subs near Cuba – the story is that the skipper ordered that the single nuclear-tipped torpedo be prepared for firing. Protocol required three votes of “da” – a unanimous democratic vote – in order to fire the torp. One man voted “nyet”, and probably saved 100 east coast cities from atomic destruction, maybe more. Yes, it may be apocryphal, but that’s unimportant in the study of how conflict arises and subsides. Often-times the character of accidentally key people make vastly different outcomes. Pax.

                • VR Kaine says:

                  I appreciate it, Lisa. There was someone on here before that I had mistaken you for that kept trying to call out our host’s academic and military background using the “please enlighten us” type of phrasing to do so, and it was annoying to say the least. Then it was judging America from some Canadian high-horse, which drives me even more nuts (especially as a Canadian! haha!)

                  Anyhow, thanks for letting that go under the bridge. To the topic you were speaking of, I thought there was no way the US would strike Iran before November (citing political reasons rather than military), but now I’m not so certain especially with what I’m reading about Iran and Syria’s relationship. Reading this on Reuters (via Drudge) “Experts say that within a few months, much of Iran’s nuclear program will have been moved deep underground beneath the Fordow mountain, making a successful military strike much more difficult.” (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/17/us-israel-iran-idUSBRE84G0UC20120517)

                  I know there are those on either side who say that Ahkie boy is no more a threat than any other dictator out there, but I disagree. When annihilation of anybody is part of someone’s “religion”, I get nervous.

        • Lisa,

          My apologies for the delay. It’s been a busy week. I wouldn’t worry too much about any near-term chances of a nuclear. The reason security is so heavy in Chicago is because of the high concentration of military and political leaders that will be there. Moreover, since it is a NATO summit, and NATO has a role in Afghanistan, there is good reason to prepare for an al Qaeda strike on the city (though I think this is also unlikely).

          While you are correct that Operation “Eager Lion” is taking place in Jordan, it happened around the same time last year. It is akin to the old Bright Star exercises that the US used to hold in Egypt (although it is probably much smaller in scope). I don’t think it is likely that the United States would waste resources and political capital on a Syrian intervention. It is simply not in our interests. If anything, a Syrian distraction is a good cover for a build up to take out Iranian nuclear infrastructure. Though things are still quiet, I wouldn’t be surprised if that option was still seriously on the table.

          • Lisa says:

            Thanks. I worked for the Army for many years and went through some military training, as well as making something of a study of classical errors in Strategy, etc. I agree with what you wrote, yet the overall direction of things indicates or suggests to me grave risks. Of course we’re simply along for whatever ride takes place, if any. Thanks again for your response and thoughtful opinions. Very kind of you.

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