In a seeming contradiction to my previous post on the threat of war, the Pentagon has recalled its only aircraft carrier in the Arabian Gulf arena back to home waters.
Does this signify a shift in US intentions in the Middle East? No, I don’t think so. They have made other strategic moves – a nuclear submarine, round trip B52 bomber runs for example, to annul that suggestion. What this is, I think, is an acknowledgement of the vulnerability of a large capital vessel to anti-shipping missile attack. Imagine the disruption that would occur, and the blow to US Navy prestige, were the US to lose even one of its increasingly obsolete carrier force, some of which are, and have been for some time, harbour bound due to cost and personnel shortages. It may also have something to do with shoring up resources for potential trouble back home in coming days as the outcome of November’s election gets firmed up, either way, for a new presidential season.
Of course we can always hope for a change in US attitudes to the world, but I think the reasons I presented yesterday – although being only a snapshot of the position – would tend to render such hope as being forlorn or wishful thinking.