Exclusive: US augments Middle East naval-air might as Gates warns against new war

Monday, April 21, US secretary of defense Robert Gates declared: “Iran is hell bent on acquiring nuclear weapons” but warned: “Another war in the Middle East is the last thing we need and, in fact, I believe it would be disastrous on a number of levels. He was addressing the US Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
At the same time, Gates said he favors keeping the military option against Iran on the table “given the destabilizing polices of the regime and the risks inherent in a future Iranian nuclear threat – either directly or through proliferation.”
The last part of the defense secretary’s remarks was underlined by news of large US naval, air and marine forces on their way to beef up the Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf and Middle East. They include two nuclear air carriers with assault troops on board.
debkafile‘s Washington sources report that Gates’ words, combined with these military movements, have enlivened the guessing game over President George W. Bush’s intentions. Will he or won’t he order military action against Iran’s nuclear sites and/or Revolutionary Guards bases of attack against US forces in Iraq in the last eight months of his presidency? A majority in informed administration circles is betting against Bush risking a major new war in the short time remaining to him as president. But a strong minority believes he will order the American armed forces to go forward, after all
One US military sources advised debkafile to keep a close eye on America’s military movements in the region for clues, because a concentration this heavy must have some purpose.

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