U.S. Military 'Surge' in the Gulf
November 1, 2011—This release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee (LaRouche PAC).
While right-wing Republicans rant against the Obama Administration's withdrawal of all U.S. military forces from Iraq, after the collapse of talks on a Status of Forces Agreement, the reality is that Obama is conducting a military buildup surge in the region, as part of the drive towards a new "Balkan War" stretching from the Eastern Mediterranean, through the Persian Gulf into South and Central Asia. In addition to plans to bolster the existing force of 23,000 American troops in Kuwait, just to Iraq's south, the Obama Administration is also devising plans for increased naval presence in the Persian Gulf, added air and naval bases and ports of call, and a new level of military coordination with the Gulf Cooperation Council. A meeting between Pentagon officials and representatives of the six GCC countries took place recently on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York. The New York Times reported on Oct. 29 that the U.S. has plans to establish force integration between the U.S. Central Command and the six GCC militaries—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the U.A.E., Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. All the elements for a war on Iran are being put in place, even as the Iraq troop drawdown proceeds.
Glenn Greenwald, writing today in Salon, summarized the preponderant American military presence in the Persian Gulf:
"The U.S. has Iran completely encircled. It has over 100,000 troops in the nation on Iran's eastern border (Afghanistan, where, just incidentally, the U.S. continued through this year to turn over detainees to a prison notorious for torture) and has occupied the nation on Iran's western border (Iraq) for eight years, and will continue to maintain a small army of private contractors and CIA officials after it withdraws. The U.S. continuously flies drone aircraft over and drops bombs on the nation on Iran's southeastern border (Pakistan). Its NATO ally (Turkey) is situated on Iran's northwestern border. The U.S. has troops stationed in multiple countries just a few hundred miles across the Persian Gulf from Iran, virtually all of which are client states. The U.S. has its Fifth Fleet stationed in a country less than 500 miles from Iran (Bahrain) containing U.S. warships and contingents of U.S. Marines. And the U.S. routinely arms Iran's two most virulent rivals (Israel and Saudi Arabia) with sophisticated weaponry."
A former Commander of the Central Command recently told an audience in Washington that the overwhelming focus of U.S. naval power is directed at Iran. There are no fewer than three nuclear-powered aircraft carrier groups targeted at Iran. Two carrier groups are permanently stationed in the Persian Gulf, and a third carrier group is located in the Eastern Mediterranean—just off the coast of Syria, and within striking distance of Iran. The retired commander noted that all three carrier groups have extensive missile defense systems, also all within reach of Iran. In addition to these force deployments, the U.S. has been expanding its covert drone bases, in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean region. These new clandestine drone bases, run by the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), can reach targets from the Horn of Africa to the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula to almost the entire territory of Pakistan.