The U.S. likely stopped an Iranian attack on American personnel or other interests with little time to spare by announcing an aircraft carrier and bomber group are headed to the Middle East, and retired U.S. Navy Captain Chuck Nash says the statement released by the Trump administration tells us a lot even if we have no deals about the thwarted plot.
National Security Adviser John Bolton announced the move Sunday due to “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.” He further stated the deployment decision is designed “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”
“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces,” continued Bolton.
Nash calls Bolton’s language about troubling and escalatory indications and warnings is”pretty unambiguous.”
“That is language that means we have verifiable evidence. Verifiable evidence could be signals intelligence backed by movements on the ground, where you see not just a plan being discussed where it could be a fake but you actually see forces or people moving into positions that would follow along to where it’s just chatter,” said Nash.
Nash also translated into more plain language.
“I think what he is laying out to the Iranian regime is, ‘We gotcha. OK? We gotcha. We know what’s going on.’ That will get them to back down because their plan is obviously blown,” said Nash.
“Whatever it was, we found out about it and now they know that we know and if they go through with it, not only is the plan likely to fail but they’re likely to reap severe repercussions,” he added.
Nash also elaborated on what the USS Abraham Lincoln and the bomber group would do once in position, assuming Iran doesn’t lash out. He says Navy and Air Force leaders have constantly updated plans to counter any Iranian attempts to close the Straits of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman and eventually the Indian Ocean.
“They could try to close it with surface-to-surface missiles and mines or their submarines or surface units and small boat swarms,” said Nash.
He also says the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which swears allegiance to Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khameini rather than the nation of Iran, is most likely to cause any mischief in the Persian Gulf.
Listen to the full podcast to hear more of Nash’s analysis on message Bolton is sending Iran, why Iran is looking to attack us, and how Iran is likely reacting to its plot being exposed.