U.S. Deploys Two Aircraft Carriers To Mediterranean To "Send A Clear Message To Russia"

Tyler Durden's picture

Over the weekend we noted that US aircraft carrier, the USS Harry Truman, which has served as a launching point for a near-constant barrage of airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria and which since November has accounted for a little more than half of the total sorties flown over those two countries by the U.S. military, recently crossed the Suez Canal in an unplanned trip to the Mediterranean, had begun striking at various Islamic State targets from the Mediterranean Sea. This marked the first time a carrier group has launched airstrikes from the area since the 2003 invasion in Iraq.


US aircraft carrier the USS Harry S. Truman

But it turns out the carrier strike group had another, far more important mission when it entered the Mediterranean. According to the WSJ, this 20-story-tall aircraft carrier with a crew of 5,000 made an unplanned diversion from the Gulf to the eastern Mediterranean last week: a quick pivot intended to send a clear message to Russia. A military official in Washington said the Truman’s shift was a signal to Moscow and a demonstration of the Navy’s operational flexibility and reach.

“It provides some needed presence in the Med to check…the Russians,” the official said. “The unpredictability of what we did with Truman kind of makes them think twice.”

Unless the Russians were planning on annexing the Mediterranean we somehow fail to see how this works. Ironically, what is meant to be a show of force, may be just as easily interpreted as a sudden onset of defensiveness. Why the sudden insecurity? 

The Truman will not be the only US carrier in the region. According to RT, the US military presence in the Mediterranean has been boosted even further ahead of a NATO summit in Warsaw. The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier strike group will allegedly support “US national security interests in Europe.” “The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG) entered the US 6th Fleet area of operations today in support of US national security interests in Europe,” the US European Command (EUCOM) has announced.


Tug boats assist the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower

The carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is to take the place of the USS Harry S. Truman that will head back to the United States, finishing its eight-month mission, Navy officials on board the Truman said, according to Reuters. In June, however, both carriers will be stationed in the Mediterranean simultaneously... just in case the message to Russia from just one carrier is lost in translation.

Washington claims that the increased military presence is aimed at fighting Islamic State and balancing Russian extensive military efforts. “The presence of two carrier strike groups in the Mediterranean Sea demonstrates our commitment to safety and security in the region,” the statement read. “These forces further serve to support European allies and partners, deter potential threats and are capable of conducting operations in support of the counter-ISIL [Daesh] mission.”

As the WSJ notes, Rear Adm. Bret Batchelder, the highest-ranking officer on the carrier, told visiting reporters this week that moving the “capital ship” of the U.S. Navy from the Gulf through the Suez Canal is a flexing of muscle meant to reassure North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies of the American commitment to maintaining the balance of naval power in the Mediterranean.  “It is a demonstration of capability. That’s for sure,” he said. “There are undoubtedly folks who are watching that and this is just a graphic representation of what we’re capable of.

In other words, just as NATO launched Anaconda 2016, the biggest NATO drill involving tens of thousands of western troops in eastern Europe since the cold war, one meant to simulate a Russian invasion of the country, and taking place in stratgic proximity to Russia, the US felt the need to "demonstrate" US naval power too.

More spin:

"The repositioning of the USS Harry S. Truman provides a window into American military strategy at a time when Russia has asserted itself aggressively in the region, using its navy and air force to turn the tide of the five-year Syria conflict in favor of President Bashar al-Assad.

 

The U.S. has shown a willingness to use powerful Navy vessels to make provocative political statements, as it did in 2015 when it sailed a destroyer through the South China Sea at the height of tensions with Beijing over China’s territorial claims there.

 

* * *

 

Russia has maintained a contingent of about 10 to 15 ships in the Mediterranean for three years because of the conflict in Syria. In March, state media said the country’s sole aircraft carrier would be sent to join those ships by summer.

Ironically, moving the Truman away from the Gulf means US air strikes on ISIS will be curbed. "The 75-plane fleet assigned to the ship responds to calls from allies on the ground for airstrikes. Starting in the early morning and lasting well into the night, F/A-18 jet fighters and E-2C Hawkeye surveillance planes take off using a steam-powered catapult to slingshot them off the short runway."

Capt. David Little, commander of the air squadrons, said his fleet has been active recently over Fallujah, where Iraq’s military and allied militia forces have been engaged in an intense battle to uproot Islamic State from one of the first cities it occupied. Capt. Little declined to identify specific targets, but said the Truman’s airborne fleet has focused its firepower on Islamic State’s ability to wage war and he rattled off a list of the types of facilities the jet fighters have struck based on intelligence provided by partners on the ground.  “Where they store money, the oil refineries they steal the money from, the banks where they store and hide money, the factories where they produce vehicle-borne [improvised explosive devices],” he said.

In other words, doing precisely what Russia has been doing and at that much more efficiently.

Putting Russia in its place aside, the new position may actually serve a strategic purpose. Adm. Batchelder said the ship’s position in the Mediterranean could make it a vital asset if the U.S. and its allies were to begin operations against Islamic State in Libya. The U.S. is contemplating operations in the oil-rich North African country. Which, we believe, is precisely what the ship is there for, as the US prepares to "liberate" Libya for a second time.

In any event, while the US may be hoping to "check" the Russians, all this action which will be seen as the latest provocation by the Kremlin will do is further strain already chilly relations between Russia and the US. “I don’t think that Russia is interested in practical cooperation with NATO more than NATO itself,” the head of the State Duma Committee for International Relations, Aleksey Pushkov said, according to RIA Novosti. “Claiming that Russia should seek cooperation with NATO, which would be the one to decide whether it will happen or not, is absurd.”

We expect Russia to respond by promptly deploying warships of its own to the Mediterranean in a repeat of the summer of 2013 when the beach off the Syrian coast was a parking lot of Russian, US, European and even Chinese warships.

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Looney's picture

Does opening and closing the asshole qualify as “flexing the muscle”?  ;-)

Looney

Clueless Economist's picture

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froze25's picture

I really can't wait till Obama is out of office.

Stuck on Zero's picture

We've all been saying that about the sitting President for the last 40 years and we're always sorry.

Kefeer's picture

Who is the worst President?  The one who is in office.

AVmaster's picture

"“It provides some needed presence in the Med to check…the Russians,” the official said. “The unpredictability of what we did with Truman kind of makes them think twice.”"

 

Oh yea... putin is really shakin in his boots right now...

 

>_>


John Kich's picture

Trump Got It Right Again. This Is the Undeniable Proof...

However the mainstream media isn't saying a word about it!

What are they really trying to cover up?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6Vqq2DRfwI

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

 

“It is a demonstration of capability. That’s for sure,” he said. “There are undoubtedly folks who are watching that and this is just a graphic representation of what we’re capable of.”

Behold, Russians! Our big boat moves without sails! Do you not now perceive our impressive capability?!

StychoKiller's picture

It only takes one attack Sub to ruin a Carrier's day.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Carrot, meet the big stick....financed by those we threaten to beat with said stick. Ain't democracy great?

Pinto Currency's picture

.

.

Med carriers can only launch attacks on Kuds forces in Iraq and Syria because of Iranian Magrav in Persian Gulf now?

Launch last week was first from Med for a long time.

.

Crash Overide's picture

“It provides some needed presence in the Med to check…the Russians,” the official said. “The unpredictability of what we did with Truman kind of makes them think twice.”

 

Wow, this is a brilliant military strategy, park two huge targets in a body of water with only one way out...

I bet Russian is thinking twice scratching their heads as they could easily destroy both.

Could be a false flag setup?

HowdyDoody's picture

The US aren't the only ones travelling Crazy Street. The UK Navy has reported that the engines on its Type 45 destroyers don't work reliably in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf.

https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/ru-en.en/https/russian.rt.com/article/306...

 

 

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

The UK Navy were walking with their pants full of shit yesterday when they discovered a Russian submarine transiting the English Channel.

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon came up with words of praise for the actions of the Royal Navy, saying: "This shows that a vigilant watch in international and territorial waters to keep Britain safe and protect us from potential threats."
The frigate Kent's commanding officer, Daniel Thomas said: "Locating this submarine was a combined effort with NATO allies and shadowing such units is routine activity for the Russian Navy."
He added that the frigate continued to escort the submarine as it conducted its passage, "providing a visible presence."

Rah Rah NATO! Good vigilance and teamwork on that combined effort of locating that sneaky Russian sub (which was moving up-top at slow speed, being escorted by a Russian towboat, and had already received friendly greetings from merchant ships operating in the area)!

http://tass.ru/en/politics/880946

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Your best post yet. There's hope for you after all, Dr. Krugman.

Librarian's picture

I'm planning on sending a message to the Russians as well.

I hope that every American joins me and sends their own message as well.

Tomorrow, I am going to not order anything with tomatos for lunch.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

 

Does opening and closing the asshole qualify as “flexing the muscle”?

Yes. In fact, that's why this message was delivered by Rear Admiral Bret Buttholer.

Backin2006's picture

"The Lord test the righteous and the wicked, and his soul hates him that loves violence." Psalm 5.11.

War Machine's picture

absurd, given the rest of the old testament.

 

violence IS god.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

If you want to send a message to Russia you sail the black sea. If you want to send a message to Europe, you sail the Med.

magnetosphere's picture

carriers arent allowed in the black sea

magnetosphere's picture

so said joseph stalin and adolph hitler

COSMOS's picture

Check me on this, but I dont think the USA signed it or abides by it.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

The US didn't sign it as it was not one of the High Contracting Parties. The convention is what permitted Turkey to rebuild fortifications along the Dardanelles Strait.

 

The convention gave control over the Bosphorus Strait and Dardanelles Strait to Turkey and obliges the Turkish government to enforce the terms of the convention. Thus the US in this particular circumstance is non-exceptional and, like any other non-Black Sea nation, abides by it.

ThanksChump's picture

"absurd, given the rest of the old testament.

violence IS god."

 

 

OR the state... Liberals traded God for Government, but they are equally zealot in their devotion. Zealots are never sane.

 

Belief in a sky-ghost or socialism/big-gov requires an identical abandonment of logic and reason. Both require that the foundational tenets be taken on faith w/o any supporting evidence, and both require that contrary arguments be attacked.

 

Some people need a parent, a scapegoat, or both.

Top Hat's picture

The NeoCons are going to try and get a war started before Trump gets elected and changes everything.

Supernova Born's picture

Peace could be guaranteed by requiring that a high level Defense Department civilian Neocon "observer" be aboard any US ship that was going to engage in operations that might "trigger" Russia.

 

wren's picture

Because you know Russia has 2 aircraft carries and fleets in our waters. Propoganda to keep the people hating Russia so the NWO can add them to our vallueless money (not currency).

kaboomnomic's picture

This is P-270 Moskit

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-270_Moskit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIwr8W1dr8E

 

In can be send in a group of 8-16 and this missiles can acts as a "wolf pack".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsE8uc0iW1I

 

1 Moskit= 6 million$

1 Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (w/o all the jets assets onboard value)= 15 BILLION$.

 

The US still wants to brags about their aircraft carriers?? Here assessment from American OWN researcher:

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-militarys-ultimate-fear...

https://theaviationist.com/2015/03/05/us-aircraft-carrier-sunk-by-subs/

http://lexingtoninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/aircraft-carrier-invuln...

 

Those who don't know?? Think Aircraft Carrier as supreme force. We in the know? Think it as a sitting duck's...

Collapsed's picture

I'm sure Putin is shaking in his boots,...what a bunch of childish bullies we have running this show.  Isn't the bully usually the biggest pussy of the bunch? Punch him in the face once and he runs to mom...

BorisTheBlade's picture

Putin loves messages from Pentagon. He got 20 000 of them forwarded from clintonemail.com

Supernova Born's picture

If Putin made fucking with the US as high a priority as the US has made fucking with Russia, Putin would have already released them.

Sadly for Americans, Putin is Russia's leader and concerned with Russia's security first.

Putin knows he can leash that neocon criminal Hillary for 8 years with what he has on her.

BorisTheBlade's picture

HRC's tail is a very long one, it will be wagging her when time is opportune.

Blankone's picture

Maybe in kindergarden, but once out in the world punching the bully who has been in and out of jail, memebe of a gang (banger or biker or ...) and who has had knife cuts sewn shut -  well that often ends with you dead or badly messed up. 

Now France has now put special forces in Syria, in addition to the US special forces.  Putin is powerless to stop the taking of Syria as NATO now moves east to west.  (If he ever wanted to stop NATO).

 

HowdyDoody's picture

Top Syrian, Russian and Iranian military leaders recenlty had a meeting in Tehran. Iran is planning to send 175,000 fighters to Syria. It has gained unlimited transit rights from the Iraqi government (get that - the US has united Iran and Iraq over a common enemy) for ferrying troops to Syria. Syria has 30,000 recently trained troops (by the Russians) available. Russia has restarted the heavy bombing flights. Syrian forces are within 25 km of the military airbase east of Raqqa (hint they can travel that in a day, weather permitting). The takfiris managed to temporarily cut the main east-west road behind the Syrian spearhead, but now that didn't stop the advance groups. The takfiris were routed and Syrian control restored. The so-called Kurdish SDF (actually a mix of Kurds and Syrians) are heading east to join up with their brothers in east Syria, totally ignoring US pleas to take Raqqa. So yeah, Putin is powerless to stop NATO. /sarc

 

 

Freddie's picture

I have major respect for the Syrian military and people for fighting back against the ZWO. Syria is arguably the birthplace of Christianity,

It is sickening what has been done to Syria, Iraq, Libya, Eastern Ukraine, Yemen, former Yugoslavia.  ZATO - evil scum.

Blankone's picture

When, when, when are those 175,000 Iranian and new 30,000 Syrian troops going to storm from the west of Syria? 

The US and the French are already there.  And Russia does not bomb where those NATO troops are.

And if Iran ever did they are just asking to be wiped out by NATO and Israel.  The US has bombed Syrain bases and Hezbollah columns in Syria.  Israel has bombed Syrian bases and Damascus itself.  Russia was too afraid to confront to stop this.  (The S400 were there.)  If Iran masses that many troops they will likely be bombed and Russia will do nothing. 

 

Supernova Born's picture

So this is where the EBT money went.

froze25's picture

We would have a space elevator if we reduced our world policing by 10%.

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) froze25 Jun 9, 2016 11:47 AM

Space elevators won't work.  The physics won't allow it to lift items into space or down from space.

Bollixed's picture

It could if you replaced all the engineers with economists.

kliguy38's picture

Bout time we showed those Ruskies who is boss......Now they're gonna feel the wrath of Bama!!!...If only Hilary was Prez right now, we could get it hot hot fast.....oh the good times are a comin'......You guyz are gonna be sooooo proud!

BandGap's picture

Read the book, "Alas Babylon". WW3 starts when a carrier based US fighter pilot mistakenly blows up a Russian munitions train in Syria.

Written in 1959.