In the wake of the Iranian-backed Hamas attack on Israel the United States has surged three aircraft carrier task forces to the Middle East Theater of Operations: USS Dwight D.
Eisenhower, USS Gerald R. Ford, and now the USS George Washington has left Norfolk four months before its previously scheduled deployment headed for the Mediterranean.
It is also worth noting that the (London) Telegraph reported the USS Bataan and USS Carter Hall, amphibious ships carrying the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) were dispatched from the Gulf to the Red Sea and the command-and-control ship Mount Whitney, complete with a three-star Admiral and his staff, was pulled off NATO duties and sent to take charge in the eastern Med.
In the wider Middle Eastern region, there are US-allied coalition ships aplenty. France, Spain and Japan have warships in the area. There’s also the Royal Navy’s HMS Lancaster, reported the Telegraph.
At the same time the Red Chinese have deployed the destroyers Zibo, Urumqi, the frigates Jingzhou abd Linyi and the tenders Qiandaohu and Dongpinghu the same theater of operations. Two are Type 052D destroyers equipped with YJ-21 hypersonic anti-ship ballistic missiles. This means the most powerful naval force at present in the Persian Gulf belongs to the Red Chinese.
The Russians have also redeployed their battered Black Sea Fleet. Although the redeployment may have more to do with putting their remaining ships beyond the reach of Ukrainian missiles, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin made a point of announcing that the American fleet in the Eastern Mediterranean was now within range of Russia’s hypersonic missiles stationed in the Black Sea.
Following these developments, the military news site Task and Purpose reported the USS Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, engaged in a nine-hour battle with four cruise missiles and 15 airborne drones, apparently launched from Yemen. The ship used SM-2 surface-to-air missiles to intercept the missiles and drones over the water.
This was a far more significant engagement than first admitted by the Biden administration.
Per CNN, citing an American official familiar with the matter, the path and trajectory of the missiles had them en route to Israel. The missiles were fired by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, according to the Department of Defense, and would be the first attempt by any group in Yemen to strike at Israel in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 terror attacks on Israel by Hamas.
Earlier this year naval forces from Red China, Iran and Russia conducted joint drills in the Gulf of Oman. According to the Associated Press the three countries held similar drills last year and in 2019.
The Communist Chinese and Russian contributions to the exercise were relatively modest, reported the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy. China’s participation consisted of a guided missile destroyer and a replenishment ship, while Russia contributed a missile cruiser, a destroyer, and a replenishment ship.
Iran’s contribution, however, was more robust. Both of Iran’s naval services — the Artesh Navy and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Navy (IRGC-N) — participated in the drill. The Artesh Navy reportedly contributed 11 vessels, including two frigates, a corvette, and a fast-attack craft, while the IRGC-N added several smaller ships and helicopters.
As British military analyst Tom Sharpe observed, every malign actor who thrives off disruption either is, or is about to, exploit the current situation to maximize their influence on events. What’s more, if the Iranian Navy does, intentionally or through a miscalculation, get into a confrontation with the United States they are, for the first time, likely to find a Chinese hypersonic armed warship offering to “help.”
The Middle East is important to Communist China, today the Red Chinese obtain about 50 percent of their oil and about a third of their natural gas from the Persian Gulf region. The Gulf hydrocarbons are fueling Red China's rise.
Communist China is trying to "displace" U.S. influence in the Middle East, Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, the commander of Air Forces Central, and Combined Forces Air Component Commander, U.S. Central Command told the Defense Writers' Group. Right now, the Chinese are primarily working to supplant the United States through economic means and through the Belt and Road Initiative – the Chinese program to finance infrastructure projects that often come with hidden costs to debtor nations.
"What I think is a reasonable assertion, though, is that where economic interests start, military interests will follow to protect those economic interests," Grynkewich said. "Over time, … there is a risk of [Communist] Chinese expansion into the region militarily."
Attacks on Israel
Seyed Hossein Mousavian
Joe Biden foreign policy
Obama Iran Deal
Yemen Civil War