Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Naval nightmare . . .

x 3 = 270,000 tons of diplomacy in a small place
IT SEEMS THAT we narrowly avoided a war off the coast of Iran back in 2007, thanks to the timely action by a top political adviser to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, Gwenyth Todd. According to Jeff Stein at The Washington Post, in an article, "Why was a Navy adviser stripped of her career?", the US Navy had at least one admiral that was out of control.
Three "Big Decks" and support hardware

According to Todd and another witness, (Vice Admiral) Cosgriff’s idea, presented in a series of staff meetings, was to sail three “big decks,” as aircraft carriers are known, through the Strait of Hormuz — to put a virtual armada, unannounced, on Iran’s doorstep. No advance notice, even to Saudi Arabia and other gulf allies. Not only that, they said, Cosgriff ordered his staff to keep the State Department in the dark, too.

To Todd, it was like something straight out of “Seven Days in May,” the 1964 political thriller about a right-wing U.S. military coup. A retired senior naval officer familiar with Cosgriff’s thinking said the deployment plan was not intended to be provocative.

Not intended to be provocative? Yeah, right.

Cosgriff — backed by a powerful friend and boss, U.S. Central Command (Centcom) chief Adm. William J. “Fox” Fallon — was itching to push the Iranians, Todd and other present and former Navy officials say.

“There was a feeling that the Navy was back on its heels in dealing with Iran,” according to a Navy official prohibited from commenting in the media. “There was an intention to be far more aggressive with the Iranians, and a diminished concern about keeping Washington in the loop.”
• • •
Todd feared that the Iranians would respond, possibly by launching fast-attack missile boats into the gulf or unleashing Hezbollah on Israel. Then anything could happen: a collision, a jittery exchange of gunfire — bad enough on its own, but also an incident that Washington hawks could seize on to justify an all-out response on Iran.

Preposterous? It had happened before, off North Vietnam in 1964. In the Tonkin Gulf incident, a Navy captain claimed a communist attack on his ship. President Lyndon Johnson swiftly ordered the bombing of North Vietnam, touching off a wider war that turned the country upside down and left more than 58,000 U.S. servicemen dead.

Don’t tell anybody? No way. Todd picked up the phone and called a friend in Foggy Bottom. She had to get this thing stopped.

Scary, when accountability disappears. Check out the whole sorry tale, and be very thankful  Gwenyth did what had to be done to keep the General Jack D. Rippers under control.

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