Gen. Dunford Announces Plan for Multi-National Military Coalition in Gulf to Combat Iranian Threats

  • According to Marine General Joseph Dunford, the U.S. plans to move forward with its operation to create a military coalition with various nations to “monitor and deter Iranian threats against commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf area” between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa.
  • Dunford, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said “the Pentagon has developed a specific plan,” and in a couple of weeks, the countries who will be involved in the effort will be clear.
  • Dunford said the idea is to “ensure freedom of navigation” in the region. This comes after the U.S. has blamed Iran for several hostile incidents, including the sabotage of six oil tankers in the Gulf since May.
  • According to Dunford, “the U.S. would provide command and control ships, leading surveillance efforts. However, the aim would be for other countries to offer boats to establish patrols nearby, and escort commercial ships carrying their flags through the area.”
  • Dunford added that the U.S. will “work directly with the militaries to identify the specific capabilities each country has to support the initiative.”
  • Dunford said: “With a small number of contributors, we can have a small mission. We’ll expand that as the number of nations that are willing to participate identify themselves.”
  • Last month, acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper brought up the idea of a coalition at NATO headquarters, but there was no interest from other countries. Esper said the plans would have to be “refined.”
  • Currently, the U.S. “has a substantial naval presence in the region and participates in several multinational naval taskforces carrying out maritime security, counter-terrorism, anti-piracy operations.”
  • While the U.S. has blamed Iran for hostilities in the region, Iranian President Rouhani has called the U.K. “the initiator of insecurity at sea” since the nation seized an Iranian oil tanker last week.
  • Iranian has demanded the return of the tanker or said it would seize an English ship as retaliation.

Reference Links

  • The Guardian: US plans coalition of allies to patrol waters off Iran and Yemen READ
  • BBC: The US says it wants to create an multinational military coalition to safeguard waters around Iran and Yemen. READ
  • Reuters: U.S. wants military coalition to safeguard waters off Iran, Yemen READ
  • US Proceeding with Plan for Coalition to Deter Iran Threats READ

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