On Wednesday morning President Donald Trump issued an order to U.S. Navy 5th Fleet ships deployed to the Persian Gulf. “I have instructed the United States Navy to destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” said the president in a tweet.
This move has been long in coming, as for years the Iranians have played a cat and mouse game with our Navy in the Gulf. The Iranians get close to our ships and thus become a threat to navigation. Though they have been repeatedly warned against this practice, they have not desisted. It came to a head a week ago when the Navy, in joint exercises with the U.S. Army, were consistently harassed by 11 Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps gunboats. The Iranians approached U.S. Navy ships at high speeds, at points as close to ten yards off the bow of the U.S.S. Maui. Several other U.S. Navy vessels were also involved in the exercise.
The U.S. Navy issued multiple warnings by radio, blasts from the ships’ horns, and the deployment of long-range sea acoustic devices. But the Iranians would not back off. Finally after an hour, the Iranians answered radio messages and left. However, in that hour they put the lives of U.S. sailors at risk because of the threat of collision.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is a pathetic lot. It is comprised of pleasure boats, such as the kind you would see at your local lake, kitted out with small arms. They are no tactical threat to our Navy. But using techniques that make our Navy quickly steer away to avoid collision, they have become a threat during exercises and thus a threat to operational readiness.
The day before the latest incident, confused and idiotic Iranian naval personnel boarded a tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. One problem: it was from China, not only their close allies but a country not known to take slights with utter calm. The Iranians quickly left when they realized their mistake and afterwards issued a groveling and child-like apology to the Red Chinese.
This piece was written by David Kamioner on April 22, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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