16 July 2012

Wars, and Rumors Of Wars

The news is full of the story of the Navy refueling ship USNS Rappahannock firing on a small boat in the Straits of Hormuz, killing one.  The Navy has gotten understandably nervous about small boats since the Cole incident.

In 1988 I was on USS Forrestal in the Indian Ocean as part of Operation Ernest Will. The mission was to escort tankers through the Straits of Hormuz. The more things change, the more they stay the same.One thing that is different, the carrier groups are operating in the Persian Gulf now. At the time of Ernest Will the gulf was too small for carrier ops. They must have stretched it out some since 1988.

Saudi Arabia is working on reactivating a pipeline to bypass the Straits, so soon the chokepoint problem may become a thing of the past anyway. I would welcome it.

The really sad thing about this whole story is that the US gets very little oil from the Persian Gulf. We get most of our oil from Mexico and Canada. The Persian Gulf oil goes mostly to Europe. And yet here we are, once again protecting European interests ahead of our own. (Spare me the explanation of how the cost of oil goes up everywhere because of OPEC, etc. I know.)

George Washington warned us about such things...

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