Does it amount to sword-rattling if the United States moves a powerful aircraft carrier into position to block prohibited arms transfers in the Middle East?
If so, it’s certainly a lot less provocative than calling in air strikes.
Moving a ship into a chessboard position of authority doesn’t carry with it the hatred-inspiring effect of an exploding bomb, but it can have a similar diplomatic result.
Nobody dies when an aircraft carrier changes location, but arms dealers will have to think twice.
The carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has moved to a position off the coast of Yemen, where it could intercept Iranian weapons shipments to rebels fighting the U.S.-backed government of Yemen.
With the Roosevelt, the United States now has nine warships off Yemen, including the guided missile cruiser USS Normandy.
The Navy has intercepted Iranian arm shipments to terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah in the past.
“It’s easier for us to operate against a group like that if we have the cooperation of a stable government, as was the case in the past,” Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said.
“But if we don’t have a stable government, as is the case in the current circumstance, we have to use other means to protect ourselves, and that’s what we’re doing.”
— Paris (Tennessee) Post-Intelligencer,