US Carrier Sent to Intimidate Iran Instead Keeps a Safety Distance of 600 Nautical Miles

Guess who rules the Persian Gulf?

Patrick Buchanan asks whether the US will be dragged into the war Netanyahu’s pre-election bombing threatens to start, and points out there are convincing reasons Americans would not enjoy the experience:

We are not simply observers. For if Hezbollah retaliates against Israel or Iranian-backed militias in Syria retaliate against Israel – or against us for enabling Israel – a new war could erupt, and there would be a clamor for deeper American intervention.

Yet, Americans have no desire for a new war, which could cost Trump the presidency, as the war in Iraq cost the Republican Party the Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008.

The United States has taken pains to avoid a military clash with Iran for compelling reasons. With only 5,000 troops left in Iraq, U.S. forces are massively outmanned by an estimated 150,000 fighters of the pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces, which played a critical role in preventing ISIS from reaching Baghdad during the days of the caliphate.

And, for good reason, the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, with its crew of 5,600, which Trump sent to deter Iran, has yet to enter the Strait of Hormuz or the Persian Gulf but remains in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman, and, at times, some 600 nautical miles away from Iran.

Why is this mighty warship keeping its distance?

We don’t want a confrontation in the Gulf, and, as ex-Admiral James Stavridis, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, says:

“Anytime a carrier moves close to shore, and especially into confined waters, the danger to the ship goes up significantly. … It becomes vulnerable to diesel submarines, shore-launched cruise missiles and swarming attacks by small boats armed with missiles.”

Which is a pretty good description of the coastal defenses and naval forces of Iran.

  1. ArcAngel says

    There’s ol Pat B making sense again.
    Too bad he didn’t when he was in the WH.

    I suspect “ex”- Admiral James Stavirdis (ex or retired?) knew of the 2002 War Games “Millennium Challenge 2002” and the actions of Lt General Paul van Riper, and more importantly, the outcome.
    When the entire Pentagon, ‘Defense’ Industry, RAND Corp and a few others Military “Think Tanks”, collectively shit their pants in a HUGE way.
    The shock waves are still being felt…. as the USS Abraham Lincoln is on-station 600mn/690miles/1111kms from the Straight…. and it’s still a sitting duck.
    The list of Anti-Ship Missiles in Iran’s (and Russia’s) arsenal that could take out the Lincoln in a heart beat is long. BTW is doesn’t have to be coastal battery or naval, Iran has a capable Air Force.

    I think General Riper’s name is still taboo to mention within the rings of the Pentagon.
    The “country” that the General and his Team were ‘playing’… Iran.

  2. JustPassingThrough says

    600 miles?
    …ahhhh, who is detering who?

  3. John C Carleton says

    Smart Captain.

  4. thomas malthaus says

    The gulf and the Sea of Oman are quite crowded with shipping. They can launch fighter jets from 600 miles that allows for a round trip with some fuel to spare. Probably means coastal oil production would initially be struck.

    Will they?

    1. Jesus says

      The F18 does not have the range, a carrier has to be 140-200 miles from a coastline for effective air attacks carrying maximum weapon payloads.
      The introduction of supersonic cruise missiles with ranges equal or greater than the range of the aircraft operating from a carrier makes the carrier a useless weapon today.

      1. thomas malthaus says


        Maximum speed: Mach 1.8 (1,190 mph, 1,915 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,190 m)
        Range: 1,275 nmi (2,346 km) clean plus two AIM-9s[1]
        Combat radius: 390 nmi (449 mi, 722 km) for interdiction mission[207]
        Ferry range: 1,800 nmi (2,070 mi, 3,330 km)
        Service ceiling: 50,000+ ft (15,000+ m)
        Rate of climb: 44,882 ft/min[208] (228 m/s)
        Wing loading: 94.0 lb/ft² (459 kg/m²)
        Thrust/weight: 0.93 (1.1 with loaded weight & 50% internal fuel)[209]
        Design load factor: 7.6 g[60]

        Taken from Wikipedia for F/A 18E/F Super Hornet.

        The carrier could move approximately 200 miles closer. Iran’s newly-installed S-400 system and the Richag AV system will be the game changers here. If US jets are spotted at 400 to 500 miles out, US fighter jets will have problems with launching missiles without said detections. Flying just slightly above water does nothing for fuel economy, so your point is well taken.

        The US might gamble with deploying missiles from multiple directions and skimming the water elevation.

        One or two Russian and Chinese subs monitoring activity affords no US carrier an advantage.

        Since Chinese ships have carrier-killing missiles on board, well. . . I can only imagine.

        China is on station to protect their dominant oil import source, Iran.

  5. Mikhail Garchenko says

    …you are not “john wayne” ANYMORE, assholes… 😛

  6. jm74 says

    US needs to face up to reality or maybe they already have; the reason they won’t take on Iran, Hezbollah or the Houthis is because they can’t; US can’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag, period.

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