US Military Counter-Libya Preparation Update: USS Enterprise Now Back In Mediterranean

Tyler Durden's picture

Earlier today, we reported that the US military is in the process of repositioning its forces in the area around Libya "to be able to provide flexibility and options." And while we have yet to get an updated US naval map for this week (the last one can be found here), it appears that the USS Enterprise which was previously on its way to the Straits of Hormuz has made a 180 and has now backtracked completely through the Red Sea and is now once again north of the Suez, where it has joined the big deck amphibious warfare ship Kearsarge. This means that the USS Vinson is again left alone to protect the highly combustible gulf region, which now includes both Bahrain and Oman, in addition to Yemen and of course Iran and Saudi, on revolutionary watch. It may be time to send Abraham Lincoln, which in turn is patrolling the South China Sea, back to the Persian Gulf as the possibility of a flashpoint escalation there is far greater than around Indonesia (which however would leave all of Korea and China unguarded). Keep an eye out on CVN 74 and 76 - Stennis and Reagan. If those two start making a move west, then next steps can be extrapolated quite easily.

Most recent map - note Jean-Luc Piccard's ship is now back north of the Suez:

AFP has more:

"We're studying all options to ensure that Colonel Gaddafi understands that he has to go. I know that people have mentioned military solutions, and these solutions are being examined by the French government," Fillon said in an interview with RTL radio.

One option on the table was using NATO air power to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to stop Gaddafi from using air strikes against his own people. However, such a step would require UN approval, experts said.

 For any military intervention featuring air power, US commanders could turn to the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier, which is currently in the Red Sea, as well as the amphibious ship the USS Kearsarge, which has a fleet of helicopters and about 2000 Marines on board.

As of Monday, the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise had moved to the north of the Red Sea, near the Suez Canal, according to the US Navy's website.

As recently as last week, the carrier was in the Gulf of Aden, when it was part of a naval force tracking a pirate attack on a US yacht. The ship had passed through the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean earlier this month on its way to the Arabian Sea.

Apart from a possible no-fly zone, Western nations were also looking at setting up a humanitarian “corridor” in neighbouring Tunisia or Egypt to help refugees, the New York Times has reported.

The Obama administration also was discussing whether the American military could disrupt communications to prevent Gaddafi from broadcasting in Libya, the Times wrote.

In the meantime, Gaddafi's increasingly more erratic behavior means that a definitive resolution will almost certainly require the use of lethal external force:

As Gaddafi's troops assaulted opposition forces, US and European leaders were weighing the use of NATO air power to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to stop Gaddafi from using air strikes against his own people.

British prime Minister David Cameron insisted further violence would not be tolerated and did not rule out the possibility of NATO sending ground troops.

And the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said Gaddafi was “delusional” and “unfit” to lead, after the Libyan leader claimed his people loved him, in an interview with foreign reporters.

“It sounds just frankly delusional, when he can talk and laugh to an American and (an) international journalist while he is slaughtering his own people,” Rice said at the White House.

“It only underscores how unfit he is to lead and how disconnected he is from reality.”

In the interview, the Libyan strongman ignored mounting global pressure to step down and perhaps head into exile after four decades in power.

"They love me. All my people with me. They love me all. They would die to protect me," the veteran Libyan leader said speaking in halting English in an interview with Western media shown on the BBC's world news website.

"No demonstrations at all in the streets," claimed Gaddafi, who has ruled his north African country for more than 41 years. "No one is against us, against me for what?"

He sat down for the interview with ABC television channel as well as the BBC and The Times of London as world powers ramped up pressure on his regime.

There has been global outrage at a brutal crackdown on opposition demonstrations against Kadhafi's regime which erupted nearly two weeks ago in the wake of the upheavals in its neighbours Egypt and Tunisia.

Pro-democracy forces now control vast swaths of the east of the north African country, but rights groups say at least 1000 people have been killed in the crackdown.

After initially groping for a response, the United States has now openly called for Gaddafi to step down, suggesting he should go into exile.

"The people of Libya have made themselves clear: it is time for Gaddafi to go - now, without further violence or delay," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a UN Human Rights Council meeting on Libya in Geneva.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said "exile" was "one option" that would satisfy US demands for Gaddafi to go, amid the uprising.

But Gaddafi hit back, saying he had been betrayed by the United States.

"I'm surprised that we have an alliance with the West to fight al-Qa'ida, and now that we are fighting terrorists they have abandoned us," he said, according to ABC television.

"Perhaps they want to occupy Libya," ABC quoted him as saying, adding Gaddafi had insisted he could not step down because he is neither a president nor a king.

He also challenged those who have suggested he has stashed money abroad to produce evidence of such funds and said he would "put two fingers in their eye," the BBC reported.

The BBC's Jeremy Bowen said the interview had taken place in a restaurant in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and Gaddafi had seemed relaxed throughout.

"He laughed quite a bit when asked various questions. He seemed very unconcerned about foreign pressure, saying the Libyan people were behind him, the Libyan people loved him," Bowen wrote on the BBC website. Gaddafi also repeated his allegations that the people who had come onto the streets were under the influence of drugs supplied by al-Qa'ida. He added people had seized weapons and that his supporters were under orders not to shoot back.

But witnesses said Gaddafi's forces had hit back yesterday, with fighter jets bombing ammunition stores in the eastern town of Adjabiya, around 100 km south of the capital Tripoli.

Two planes also attacked a munitions dump at Rajma, just south of the city, a military reservist told AFP.

The brutal crackdown on opposition protests has killed at least 1000 people and set off a "humanitarian emergency," the UN refugee agency UNHCR has said, warning of a mass exodus from Libya.

Faced with the threat of massacres or a wave of refugees on their Mediterranean flank, senior Western officials, including France's Prime Minister Francois Fillon, were weighing military options.

The biggest and only wildcard remains the Libyan army: unlike in Egypt, where it promptly sided with the counter-government protesters, in Libya it has still to definitvely pick any side. Worse yet, it seems as if splinter groups are forming. Should ambitious generals and/or dictators in waiting emerge on either side of the armed conflict, it would most likely tip the country into an all out civil war, especially since Gaddafi said he "could not step down because he is neither a president nor a king."


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william the bastard's picture

Obama doesn't know which end of a gun to hold. A broom either.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

This could have all the makings of a false flag opportunity.

sabra1's picture

true! US willhave to start a war to crash the markets! those warships were in position even before any uprisings! funny hey! those ships are for iran, am sure iran knows this.

TeamAmerica's picture

You mean declaring that the USS Enterprise is the in Mediterranean when it's NOT?

USS Enterprise is currently well south of the Suez.

TuffsNotEnuff's picture

Before things got interesting, Big E visited South Africa and then cleared Suez on February 20th.

The funny stuff was having her reported out of the Med.

AUD's picture

Killed at least 1000 people

I distinctly remember a few days ago right here on ZeroHedge that 10000 people were dead. And this claim of 1000 comes from so called 'rights' groups, who are they? what is their agenda?

ZeroHedge a source of disinformation?

taraxias's picture

Fuck off asshole, go troll somewhere else.

Tyler Durden's picture

No, just your unsolicited commentary:

Gaddafi Son Says Army Will Protect Oil Infrastructure, Blames Al-Qaeda For Carpet Bombing As 10,000 Now Reported Dead

Surely even you will know what sourced means.

If, on the other hand, you believe Agence France Presse (aka AFP)is misrepresenting your version of the world, you can contact them here.

Lastly, Google is truly an amazing thing even for the laziest out there. Try it out some time: here's an example.

JW n FL's picture

Yaaaaa! well I know you are! but what am I???? huh? whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you! sooo naaaa naaaanieee boo boo!


sourced and sited... for him? for him?


those of us that have Luv for a Brother cant get no responses.... but dumbass, no name, new fucking guy gets to hang with you? Bro? really??

ft65's picture

JW n FL GLP ^TrInIty^ After the recent cull of "members" at YOUR forum the level of ^TrInIty^ (Zues) worship currently at a high. But it seems that "Zeus" is bored now Hades and Poseidon are running things back at the "funny farm". Can't you go back to the new crop of woolly sheep and start you clipping there. We really don't need your GLP mindf*** Psyops over here at ZH. GO HOME, YOUR SHEEPLE NEED YOU AND WANT TO POUR ADDURATION ALL OVER YOU. Just F***ing go!

JW n FL's picture

no matter how many times you post your shitty website no one is going to go there... your website is shit, you are an insect.. dont worry it is almost over for people like you.

AUD's picture

You didn't have to publish it ZeroHedge, sourced from elsewhere or not.

Tyler Durden's picture

We will keep your editorial advice in mind going forward.

AUD's picture

Do whatever you like but you've obviously got no idea what's going on in Libya.

You think your mighty US government doesn't want people to believe that 10000 or more people are dead & Gadaffi is using warplanes to kill unarmed people while the USS Enterprise steams into the Mediterranean?

JW n FL's picture

so first... it was the number was to big... and then or now the number is not big enough...


you are a waste of time and space.

hognutz's picture


AUD's picture

Hardly. I realise this is an American website but this 'Gaddaffi is massacring everyone' line is what I'm hearing from blowhards on the mainstream radio here to justify another war which is none of our business.

Or yours.



JW n FL's picture

yaaa, but Tyler was talking about it 2 weeks before the mainstream jumped onboard... which is why we still talk about it, as a piece of a larger pie that is coming un-done... bankers are getting ass raped in the Mid-East... to bad we dont have the balls those people do, or maybe we would be a free country instead of a fucking police state.

and as for the war... or more accurately the un-armed populace of Lybia being gunned down in the streets... well all those who joined up and wanted to see the world can get thier asses back to Tripoli!!!

Let the Bodies hit the floor?

ft65's picture

JW n FL / GLP ^TrInIty^, how come the forum YOU OWN YOU post hate filled, rabid anti Muslim topics damning the Muslim popular uprisings. Here you praise the same people. Why heve you one opinion here at ZH and totally the opposite at the PsyOp website you own and control: ZH readers should beware of this character, posting here as JW n FL. Go to his place (link above) and ask questions about this ZH alter.

Harmonious_Dissonance's picture

Gaddaffi! What's up man?! How ya been?? Doped up, eh? No prob. bob. Your kinda looking like Mickey Rourke now, you lost your blonde. Dude, not cool. Good luck with the whole opressed population and such, peace.

JW n FL's picture

let be the one to ask...


do you really think that with the Libiyan Air Force Strafing the un-armed protesters... that only 1,000 have died?

Have you seen what a MIG-23 can do with those auto cannons?

Seriously? you cant be that stupid!

Sad Sufi's picture

There is the US ship "Mt. Whitney" also in the area of Libya, according to US spokesperson, via Al Jazeera, at this time...

New_Meat's picture

Whitney, Kearsarge, and a third gator form the Amphibious Ready Group (ARG)

Carrying 3/8 MAR BLT, who just happen to be playing in Afghanistan.  Camp Le Swamp had started to pack up another ground combat element.

No ground combat or even NEO any time soon.  Gotta stand up a GCE with armor and vehicles.  One BN(+) not going to be able to do very much, especially since ROE end up so restrictive.

- Ned

TuffsNotEnuff's picture

And the whole Sixth Fleet.

I'm betting on one palace disappearing in a cloud of smoke-and-shock-and-awe within the fortnight. Couldn't find a line on that at Intrade. Shucks.

JW n FL's picture
by AUD
on Mon, 02/28/2011 - 23:21


Killed at least 1000 people

I distinctly remember a few days ago right here on ZeroHedge that 10000 people were dead. And this claim of 1000 comes from so called 'rights' groups, who are they? what is their agenda?

ZeroHedge a source of disinformation?



Just so that I am clear... you came to fight club... and picked a fight with the guy who started fight club...


You are not the brightest crayon in the box are you?

ft65's picture

@ JW n FL / GLP ^TrInItY^

Good advice coming from you (your ^TrInItY^ alter ego showing through). At least you practice what you preach at your own forum . Anyone who disagrees with you there, go straight in the IP ban blacklist. ^TrInIty^... I mean JW n FL.

Why do you not reply to my posts here? Your handlers and president at Zero Point Ltd., Shalimar. ( and your spyware / adware company owners ;-) are surely as mad as hell.

Oh regional Indian's picture

The iron fist will begin to show itself more and more in days and weeks to come.

Looking back a couple of months, when all this re-positioning was going on, so many said: benign, routine, always happens...

And clearly Libya has been tipped over. Lots of all kinds of losses before any recovery.

Same can be said for the oil complex in general.

$200 oil, here we come.


Yen Cross's picture

So no, (nofly zone?)

buzzsaw99's picture

The marines will likely oversee any humanitarian efforts. The U.N. would doubtless prefer that the situation in Libya is resolved internally asap. A no-fly zone might be an option but people are fleeing any way they can and the rebels have some planes too so they can't just indiscriminately shoot down anything that flies.

cougar_w's picture

"Flexibility and options"

Translation: Listen up Ga-daffy, you knock this shit off right God-dammit now. We know where you are, we know you are crazy as bat shit, and if you think 1987 was a big deal just wait until we unload the Kearsarge on your narrow ass. Oh and BTW, we've already got 12 stealth fighters in the air over western Libya and anytime we want to blow you out of the sky, it's done. Get out of the country or dance the rope like that shithead Saddam Hussein. You've got 24 hours to make up you mind --- what's left of it --- before we drive a cruise missle through your head.

JW n FL's picture

Lets see Go-Daffy gun down Marines like they are un-armed Civilians in the Streets, NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It aint no fun when the Rabbit has the gun!

gwar5's picture

No fly zone and don't let Muammar trash the oil facilities. 

Any other president, Navy Seals would be launched for #2

In and out. Nobody would ever know what they'd done.

Looks like Cameron had to send the SAS instead.

Mad Max's picture

I visualize that one day, there will be a boat race called the "gulfsuezmed," in which wealthy nuclear-powered ship owners will race their boats from Kuwait to the central Mediterranean, and back again, via the Suez canal, in commemoration of the hundreds of times that US carrier groups had to run that route in the final oil wars of 2011-2035.

Rather like the Marathon that people run today.

Oh regional Indian's picture

That is funny Madmax, a Carrierthon.

Slow, but that is how the world is going to be, again.


Mad Max's picture

Glad to amuse.  Your name for the race is better than mine!

bankonzhongguo's picture

The first order of business is to control the skies, so wait for the UN no-fly order to be carried out by USN.  The AF can sortie out of Italy all day long - fuel is so cheap.  I don't think you will see US forces operating in Libya like Iraq.  There is a rumor that some 500 Iranian guard/operators are in southern Libya smuggling arms into Nigeria and Chad and that they are cut off. 

Pretty funny to find pro-Q-daffy Iranians "working" with African mercs keeping the good Sunnis down.  They could take out Q-daffy with 1 TLAM, but funnier to let the country tear itself part first - no bid contracts bitchez!

Things are pretty terrible over there right now.  I don't pray much, but tonight I am going to at least pray for the children and the innocent who are suffering.  My G_d watch over everyone and bring this fighting to an end. 

RoRoTrader's picture

I think we may have to get used to things getting much more expensive.

What do you think, Orly?

btw.....been in and out of OIL and back in again tonight at over just over the 97 mark. Thinking to ride this one out for a while since things are looking more uncertain by the day.........2 positions with wide stops. I think attractive risk/reward and looking for a break over 100.

Support looks decent. No higher highs yet but higher lows and more rhetoric coming from the usual suspects.

Looking to get long the AUD too. Not much of a selloff on that RBA statement.

Orly's picture

I have been watching the AUDUSD and letting my robot get in and out (two up, two down...) from time to time for fifteen pips at a time.  Nothing major.  Right now, he seems to be leaning more to the downside, so the pair may be back in line with risk sentiment and mimic the EURUSD as it was doing several months ago.  Right now, he is short and I fully expect the Euro to succumb to gravity somewhat.

Maybe a push higher from here may not happen but if it does, it will be quick and mighty.  My guess would have been after the RBA (non-)statement but British HPI and Swiss GDP seem to be weighing on it pretty good, instead of it getting a lift from pretty expected news.

The USDJPY pair is also in risk-off mode, so it should get dragged down by the Euro action, as well.


P.S.  Just got another major sell-signal from a reliable robot on the EURUSD.  When this happened before, the EURUSD ramped big-time.  Let's see if They take the bait.


P.P.S.  wow

i'm shocked


user2011's picture

If US got into another war, we are fast forwarding to the end of this nation. The deficit will go up another trillion or two. And Silver will really take off just like that. BTW, oil price will also shot up.

US treasury auction will only have one buyer, Fed. HyperInflation will hit just like that.

Psquared's picture

Don't we have more carriers than this? Looks like there are 5 that are stateside 2 of which are non-deployable. The other 3 could be moved out to sea to cover areas where we are short handed, but have not been. Are they not deployed because we don't have enough experienced crew members?

Mad Max's picture

I think we're down to our last 11 carrier battle groups.... fortunately that's still about 10.75 more than anyone else has.

TuffsNotEnuff's picture

2 of them are committed full time to keeping Rima Fakih from completing law school, joining the Democratic Party, and running successfully for Governor of Michigan in the 2020s.

If all you got's a hammer.....

hognutz's picture

I wonder if this will add to the Deficit?   LMAO!    Here we go.!.

hognutz's picture

BTW.  Our president is getting his ass kicked by Somali pirates.   Any thoughts about that.?

chump666's picture

Now we gotta wait for Iran to do something nutty.  Any takers on a oil field sabotage?

JW n FL's picture

I would believe those fields are being watched by.... stuff that can... how do you say... reach out and touch someone at distance, at the least.

chump666's picture

Iran would love to see Libya to go up and smoke... Iran is getting more oil out that the Saudis, corner the market.

cept the bug in Iran's arse is Israel.  Man the whole thing could blow up big time.

Check oil charts.