Aircraft carrier in Arabian sea to enforce arms embargo on Houthi rebels, monitor Iranian weapons convoy
The President will meet with his national security team Saturday to discuss possible responses to President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons, White House officials said.
Warning! Contains a disturbing photo.
WASHINGTON — U.S. naval forces are moving closer to Syria as President Barack Obama considers military options for responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad government. The president emphasized that a quick intervention in the Syrian civil war was problematic, given the international considerations that should precede a military strike.
The White House said the president would meet Saturday with his national security team to consider possible next steps by the United States. Officials say once the facts are clear, Obama will make a decision about how to proceed.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel declined to discuss any specific force movements while saying that Obama had asked the Pentagon to prepare military options for Syria. U.S. defense officials told The Associated Press that the Navy had sent a fourth warship armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea but without immediate orders for any missile launch into Syria.
Racing to load missiles on fighter jets. Disarming underwater mines. Searching enemy ships. Launching beach assaults.
The U.S. military has been busy in the past few weeks.
Across two military exercises — called Eager Lion and CARAT — the U.S. military worked with 27 countries on collaborative defense and security, showcasing its guided missile destroyers, F-16 fighter jets and more in the Middle East and Asia.
And nearly six thousand U.S. military personnel accompanied those key assets.
Two Russian warships head for Syria
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday, June 20, that Moscow will honor its controversial contract to deliver S-300 air defense missile systems to Syria. He spoke the day after the announcement that two warships carrying 600 Russian marines were heading for Syria “to protect the Russian citizens there” along with air force cover as needed. Lavrov told Russian TV: “We respect all our contracts and are honoring all our contractual obligations.” debkafile: Both Russia and the United States are pumping more arms into Syria for the decisive battle for Aleppo between the HIzballah-backed Syrian army and heavily mobilized rebel forces.
WASHINGTON – Just as the United States undertakes a policy “pivot” toward Asia, which will move more American ships into the East and South China seas, Beijing is letting it be known that it is fielding its new DF-21D anti-ship missile as a threat against U.S. aircraft-carrier strike groups, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Andrew S. Erickson of the Washington think-tank Jamestown Foundation said that the Chinese anti-ship missile can target what is the “last relatively uncontested U.S. airfield” in the Asia-Pacific from long-range, land-based mobile launchers.
“This airfield is a moving aircraft carrier strike group (CSG), which the Second Artillery, China’s strategic missile force, now has the capability to at least attempt to disable with the DF-21D in the event of conflict,” Erickson said.
This new anti-ship ballistic missile, or ASBM, reflects a powerful asymmetric form of deterrence which could challenge U.S. military supremacy in the region, especially given Beijing’s new military assertiveness toward neighbors over maritime rights in the East and South China seas.
At the time of its initial deployment in 2010, China announced its new DF-21D missile with what may be a non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, capability aimed at the sophisticated network-centric capabilities that the U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups bring to the region. Those capabilities have assured U.S. warfare superiority.
In 2011, it was first revealed that China was developing EMP weapons to be used against U.S. aircraft carriers in any future conflict, especially over Taiwan, according to a 2005 National Ground Intelligence Center study.
That center study said the Chinese were developing a family, or “assassin’s mace” of EMP and high-powered microwave, or HPM, weapons to be used by a technologically inferior force such as China’s, against U.S. military forces.
The once secret but now declassified study pointed out that the Chinese could detonate an EMP weapon some 30 to 40 kilometers over Taiwan or – by inference – a U.S. carrier strike group – and destroy the electronics capability on which U.S. network-centric strategy depends.
“The DF-21 medium-range ballistic missile has been mentioned as a platform for the EMP attack against Taiwan,” the report said.
The report was labeled as a “trump card” China’s electronic weapons. Assassin’s mace would apply if older nuclear weapons were employed.
The report said that China’s use of EMP weapons against Taiwan and “any vulnerable U.S. aircraft carrier would not push the U.S. across the nuclear-response threshold.”
“China’s (high-altitude) EMP capability could be used in two different ways – as a surprise measure after China’s initial strike against Taiwan and other U.S. (aircraft carrier strike group) assets have moved into a vulnerable position and as a bluff intended to dissuade the United States from defending Taiwan with a CVBG,” a Defense Department acronym for carrier strike groups, the report added.