The figurative hornets’ nest known as the Middle East has been kicked once again in 2019, this time by the stubborn anti-American leanings of the Persian nation of Iran.
Leaders in Tehran have long been critical of the United States, with threats of nuclear war and “secret” weapons now becoming the new normal. Much of this ire arises from President Donald Trump’s reversal of an Obama-era nuclear deal that allowed Iran to continue work on their nuclear power program. The issue in the minds of many international experts was that oversight of the arrangement was lacking, and Iran may very well have been continuing to engage in work that could lead to the development of nuclear weapons: An international no-no.
Having been diplomatically dunked on by President Trump, Iran has begun their campaign of retaliation and attention-seeking by targeting the Saudi Arabian oil industry with both underwater and airborne drones.
This escalation has prompted the White House to send US forces to the region in a show of force.
Now, weeks later, this military might still sits just outside of the Persian Gulf, waiting on Iran to make their next move.
The USS Abraham Lincoln on Monday was in the Arabian Sea some 200 miles (320 kilometers) off the coast of Oman.
While U.S. Navy officials repeatedly declined to discuss why they hadn’t gone through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf, they insisted they remain ready to launch any mission in the region.
However, Capt. Putnam Browne, the commanding officer of the Lincoln, also told The Associated Press: “You don’t want to inadvertently escalate something.”
As a show of force, it appears that the USS Abraham Lincoln has been quite effective.
Since the time of its arrival, Iran has done little more than rattle their verbal sabers – which is nothing new for the Middle Eastern troublemakers. No further attacks on Saudi oil targets have occurred during this span of time.