Wednesday, March 25, 2015

u.s. heightens military presence in the gulf unrelated to iran nuclear deal...,


sputniknews |  Eagle Resolve will involve tactical exercises from the US Army, Marines, and various other military branches to test readiness in air defense, border security, counterterrorism, as well as "consequence management." These include amphibious landing exercises and ship-based search and seizure operations.

Officials insist that the exercise has been in the planning stages for the last 14 months, and has nothing to do with the Iranian nuclear negotiations.

"The exercise is not intended as a signal to Iran," a CENTCOM official said, according to the Free Beacon. "If there’s any message at all, it’s that all participants have a common interest in regional security."

"It’s important to point out that this is a recurring exercise, with planning for this year’s exercise beginning over a year ago," the official added. "The focus of the exercise is on bolstering capabilities useful in a wide range of scenarios to help preserve and bolster regional security, with simulated portions of the exercise based on a fictional adversary."

Still, it’s hard to ignore which nation that “fictional adversary” may be in reference to. On Saturday, former CIA Director General David Petraeus called Iran the greatest long-term threat to stability in the region.

"I would argue that the foremost threat to Iraq’s long-term stability and the broader regional equilibrium is not the Islamic State; rather, it is Shiite militias, many backed by – and some guided by – Iran," he told the Washington Post.

It’s a view echoed by many US lawmakers and military officials. Given that the deadline for a framework deal on the controversial nuclear negotiations is fast approaching, it’s hard to ignore the potential message of a large-scale military exercise.