Reports are coming out to suggest the answer is yes:
Almost without notice, ships of the U.S. 5th Fleet in Bahrain slipped from their berths and headed into the Persian Gulf early Saturday. An “extended” exercise with Oman was the official reason given, but few believe it. As the security situation in the Manama continues to deteriorate, the Navy cannot afford to have even a single vessel–and its crew–in a port that may be hostile in a few days (or less).
Radio talk show host John Batchelor was among the first to report the news. Experts he spoke with said our relations with key Middle East allies have reached the breaking point…
With American vacillation and weakness on display throughout the Middle East, long-time allies are maneuvering for their own survival, and looking for anyone (read: not Iran) who can guarantee their security.
Also of interest is the claim that Tehran is fomenting the unrest, through its IRGC. Before readers dismiss that as a conspiracy theory or crazy talk, remember: Hillary Clinton said essentially the same thing during Congressional testimony last week. Oddly enough, the MSM has yet to follow up on Mrs. Clinton’s claim.
Given our retreat across the region, moving ships U.S. Navy vessels (and their crews) of Manama was the prudent thing to do. Now, the speculation is over when they might return. At the moment, the optimistic answer is “no time soon.” The worst-case scenario is “never.”
We’re waiting to hear if the 5th Fleet Commander has shifted his flag to sea. That move, along with the sudden departure of our ships, suggests we have no confidence in the ability of security forces to contain the unrest, and we’re preparing for a likely collapse of the Bahrain government.
Meanwhile, our commander-in-chief is reportedly having a swell time in Rio.
This, if it proves to be accurate and true, is big news. Moving the fleet is an enormous endeavor. I’ve yet to find any confirming reports from our regular media outlets which seems odd to me. In fact, this report from a couple of days ago cites operations as normal despite the unrest.
We’ll know soon enough.
H/T Dennis Sevakis via email