Pentagon rejects request for additional military resources in Persian Gulf

The Pentagon has rejected a request from the US Central Command for additional military resources in the Per...

Posted: Nov 6, 2018 9:17 AM
Updated: Nov 6, 2018 9:17 AM

The Pentagon has rejected a request from the US Central Command for additional military resources in the Persian Gulf to beef up US deterrence against Tehran, according to two defense officials.

The request comes at a time when there are concerns the Iranian regime could potentially lash out militarily in response to the US reimposing sanctions on the country. It also comes as Defense Secretary James Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, are engaged in high-level classified discussions with senior commanders around the world about how to allocate military resources for the next two years, officials say.

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Government organizations - US

Iran

Marine transportation

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

Military

Military operations

North America

The Americas

Transportation and warehousing

United States

Unrest, conflicts and war

US Central Command

US Department of Defense

US federal departments and agencies

Marine vessels

Military vessels

Oceans and Seas (by name)

Persian Gulf

Physical locations

It's unknown publicly what exactly Gen. Joseph Votel, the four-star head of Central Command, asked for, but it's known that CENTCOM would like to see an aircraft carrier return to the Gulf in the coming months, as one has not been there since winter.

Dunford said Monday that the balancing of resource allocation is one of the toughest jobs in the military and it can disappointment some combat commanders.

"That is one of the more important tasks we face, is to prioritize and allocate resources in accordance with the strategy," he said. "And ... if you look at what the combatant commanders would identity as their requirements, our inventory falls short of meeting all of what the combatant commanders would want to have, so the art for us is to have enough of our forces forward to demonstrate commitment, assure our allies, to demonstrate the ability to respond -- which enhances deterrence -- and then have the inherent flexibility in the force to get the right amount of forces in the right place, at the right time in the event deterrence fails."

He added, "That's the art of what we call global force management but it's the art of, really, priorities and allocating our resources against the strategy."

Officials say there is no intelligence indicating Iran is planning a military attack in response to sanctions being reimposed, but they also say the US doesn't have a clear and detailed understanding of how the Iranian government might react. That lack of clarity is one reason Central Command wanted some additional resources for deterrence.

This summer, Iran conducted naval exercises to demonstrate its ability to close the Strait of Hormuz. Mattis said at the time, "Clearly, this would be an attack on international shipping, and -- and it would have, obviously, an international response to reopen the shipping lanes with whatever that took."

Votel has not disputed the decision publicly. He and other battlefield commanders are well aware the new Pentagon priority is to focus on China and Russia.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Earl Brown -- chief of media operations for CENTCOM -- said the US will have the ability to "respond to any contingency" but wouldn't directly comment on the request for additional resources.

"CENTCOM has the forces we need to prosecute the ongoing fight to defeat ISIS, to support the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in their fight against the Taliban, to pursue violent extremists, to deter potential adversaries and to respond to any contingency," Brown said in the statement to CNN. "While we are not going to discuss the movement of specific forces into and out of the region, the U.S. has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to rapidly deploy and mass forces whenever and wherever they are needed in a time of crisis."

For example, the aircraft carrier Harry S Truman has been in the North Atlantic for several weeks, as a visible signal to Russia, rather than possibly going to the Persian Gulf, which might have been a more traditional deployment.

Commanders in the past have been refused assets if there are competing priorities, and there is no indication Votel has sounded an immediate alarm about Iran. But to deter Iran, and have additional capability on hand to reduce the risk of the Islamic Republic making a decision to attack, there is a sense in military circles that more assets are needed.

This deterrence effort against Iran is not aimed at targeting its nuclear programs, per se. Officials say there is sufficient capability to surge and build up forces in the event the President were to order a strike against nuclear sites.

But the worry centers more on Iran's capacity to potentially deny access to Persian Gulf shipping lanes and whether the US could mount a rapid response to keep those lanes open.

For example, the Pentagon estimates Iran could have as many as 1,000 small boats that could lay mines in the water and shut down shipping lanes within days. There are four American and four British minesweepers constantly stationed in Bahrain, but they could not immediately be used, officials say. First, the US would have to deal with potentially thousands of Iranian coastal defense missiles, as well as cruise and ballistic missiles that can strike neighboring countries that would provide crucial ports and airfields.

This comes as the US has taken four Patriot batteries out of the region that are critical for defending against ballistic missiles: two from Kuwait, one from Jordan and one from Bahrain.

West Lafayette
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 76°
Kokomo
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 69°
Rensselaer
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Fowler
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 64°
Williamsport
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 69°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Frankfort
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 66°
Delphi
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Monticello
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 70°
Logansport
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Warm-up again with increasing humidity & risk of storms.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 75862

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16088730
Lake7688278
Elkhart492685
Allen4002163
St. Joseph357883
Hamilton2829104
Vanderburgh202213
Hendricks1927108
Cass18029
Johnson1789119
Porter135539
Clark128749
Tippecanoe123811
Madison100665
LaPorte93130
Howard91365
Kosciusko86812
Bartholomew81747
Floyd80948
Marshall79323
Monroe76631
Delaware74552
Dubois70812
Vigo69911
Noble68829
Boone68746
Hancock68339
Jackson5965
Warrick58830
Shelby56527
LaGrange56310
Grant52930
Dearborn51228
Morgan49334
Clinton4444
Henry40620
Wayne38510
White37611
Montgomery35921
Lawrence35227
Harrison34823
Decatur34132
Putnam3128
Daviess27720
Miami2772
Scott27210
Jasper2552
Greene25434
Franklin24615
DeKalb2384
Gibson2314
Jennings22712
Steuben2133
Ripley2138
Carroll1962
Fayette1947
Perry18713
Posey1790
Starke1787
Wells1742
Orange17424
Fulton1722
Wabash1703
Jefferson1672
Knox1610
Whitley1556
Tipton14312
Washington1421
Sullivan1381
Spencer1373
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1244
Newton12010
Adams1092
Owen991
Jay920
Rush854
Pulaski811
Fountain742
Brown741
Blackford652
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike590
Vermillion580
Switzerland530
Parke511
Martin480
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events