According to the Associated Press, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday that sending a second U.S. aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf could serve as a “reminder” to Iran, but he said it’s not an escalation of force. Asked if the carrier move went hand in hand with the rising U.S. rhetoric against Iran, Gates said, “I don’t see it as an escalation. I think it could be seen, though, as a reminder.”
In the past, military officials have said that beefing up the Navy’s presence in the Gulf was a way to show that that the U.S. remains committed to the region. And they have acknowledged it also serves as a show of force for other countries there, such as Iran. In recent weeks, U.S. officials have ratcheted up their complaints that Iran is increasing its efforts to supply weapons and training to militants in Iraq.
In other news, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations blamed Iran Monday for fueling recent clashes in the southern Iraqi city of Basra and in Baghdad, saying Tehran was training and supplying militias. Link: http://wiredispatch.com/news/?id=146185