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To Bluff or Not to Bluff
The map pictured below has been circulating:
It purports to portray the current positions of the impressive array of US/NATO naval assets in the eastern Mediterranean, Red Sea, and the Arabian Sea / Gulf of Oman.
Maybe most of it is more or less accurate in terms of the positioning it indicates. But I do not, at present, believe it accurately represents the position of the USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, which it suggests is sailing in the far reaches of the Gulf of Oman, more or less at the gates of the Strait of Hormuz.
The Eisenhower CSG is indicated by the bright green number 5 on the map. I am very dubious it has ventured into those dangerous waters.
Many believe the strike group will transit the straits, and take a cruise in the Persian Gulf.
I do not believe that will happen.
It would be, in my opinion, an extraordinary blunder of hubris.
That said, it will be a sure indicator of US intent towards Iran.
If the Eisenhower enters the Persian Gulf, it means the US aims to put it in optimal position to strike Iran — or at least to raise the stakes of its bluff to a level that it will very likely be called.
In other words, if the USS Eisenhower and its escorts enter the Persian Gulf, it will almost certainly compel an engagement with Iranian forces — likely ignited by an Iranian shoot-down of US ISR assets.
If, on the other hand, the Eisenhower remains sailing in the relatively safe deep blue waters of the broad portion of the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, then you can be sure the US actually has no desire to escalate to war with Iran.
That would be, in my estimation, a very wise course of action.