The deployment of 3,000 sailors and Marines to the Middle East region comes after Iran has seized or attempted to seize nearly 20 ships in international waters over the past two years.
Kirk Lippold, a retired U.S. Navy commander, tells AFN the purpose of our Navy and Marine Corps is to protect sea lanes of communication and to ensure they remain free for safe passage.
“And when you have the global projection capability, like the United States Navy,” he says, “these free flow of oil and other goods coming out of the Middle East happens safely and securely.”
Iran, he adds, has chosen to “disrupt” those sea lanes of communication.
The assault ship USS Bataan and dock landing ship USS Carter Hall, which are part of the U.S. 5th Fleet, reached the Red Sea over the weekend
“I think Iran at this point, they are testing their limits regionally,” Lippold observes, “and it is not good for the United States or other nations to tolerate it."