The United States deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Persian Gulf in May, in what National Security Adviser John Bolton described as a “clear and unmistakable” message to Iran that any attack on American interests or those of its allies would be met with “unrelenting force”.
US officers on the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, deployed at an American naval base in Bahrain along with some smaller vessels, claimed in an interview with Sky News that their mission is to deter Iran from striking US targets, but added that they were also ready to launch offensive strikes if ordered.
“A large part of deterrence is the readiness that backs that deterrence up. We are ready to defend the US and the US interests if called upon… My job is to be here, to be ready, to deter and to defend if required”, Rear Admiral Michael Boyle, commander of Carrier Strike Group 12, said.
The USS Abraham Lincoln was sent to the Middle East in May due to what Washington claimed was a “number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” from Iran. Despite the highly publicised deployment, the aircraft carrier has not passed through the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway linking Mideast crude producers to crucial world markets.
“For our mission here, which is deterrence, we are in the place we need to be. The people in the know in Iran know that we are more of a deterrent here than we are in the Arabian Gulf because from this…