For the first time since World War II, there is no U.S. aircraft carrier at sea to respond to threats, according to Fox News.
In a nearly unprecedented move, there will likely be a nearly one-month gap between the docking of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which docked last Friday, and the deployment of the USS George H.W. Bush, the ship meant to replace it. According to Defense News, the Bush is not scheduled to leave the port of Norfolk until at least the Jan. 20 inauguration of Donald Trump, and it could possibly leave later.
The Bush, Fox News reported, has been delayed in the shipyards for over six months. A carrier at port could be “surged” in order to meet any threat that emerges, the Navy said. However, at a time of geopolitical instability, it is notable that our president has taken arguably taken our most important tool of military prestige and removed it from the waters of the world.
The Navy, meanwhile, refrained from comment on the matter.
“We are not going to discuss the timing of operational movements of carrier strike groups into and out of the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility,” U.S. Naval Forces Central Command spokesman Capt. Terry Shannon told Fox News.
The Eisenhower’s return to port was preceded by a seven-month tour in the Middle East, where the carrier launched hundreds of attacks against Islamic State group targets in Iraq and Syria, both from the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea.
Meanwhile, off the shores of Yemen, two American destroyers were recently attacked by Houthi rebels, a group sponsored by Iran. There are also, as you may have heard, significant geopolitical difficulties involving both Russia and China.
President Obama has overseen one of the largest downgrades in military prestige that we’ve seen from the executive branch. However, not having a carrier at sea — much less in the Middle East — for the first time since World War II is one of its most disgraceful moves yet. To make things worse, it comes at a perilous time.
While there are other ways that the United States can strike back in case of an attack, the aircraft carrier is the safest, surest projection of strength we have. The fact that Obama has chosen this time, close to a transfer of power in the United States of America, is telling.
We need a president whose leadership can keep America safe. This certainly isn’t how its done. We can only hope Donald Trump does better.
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H/T Zero Hedge