Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pretending to Signal?

Putting six F-22s close to Iran is more a signal to our domestic audience that President Obama is concerned about Iran than it is a signal to Iran:

America's most sophisticated stealth jet fighters have been quietly deployed to an allied base less than 200 miles from Iran's mainland, according to an industry report, but the Air Force adamantly denied the jets' presence is a threat to the Middle East nation.

I read elsewhere that we sent 6 planes to the United Arab Emirates. That isn't enough to kick in the door for an air campaign. It is enough to pretend to our people that we are ready to stand up to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Stealth planes work because they are tough to see on radar. It would have been nice to also avoid publicizing their presence near Iran. The fact that the deployment is being discussed is an indication that they are meant to be seen.

Of course, maybe it is misinformation that only 6 are on the ground. If we have a lot more there (or nearby) ready to spearhead an assault, a cover story that we only have 6 deployed would get around the practical problem of being unable to hide the presence of some planes in the UAE for long.

UPDATE: Hmm. One of our cruise missiles subs is in CENTCOM's region:

In response to recent Iranian sabre rattling the United States has moved two carrier task forces and one SSGN (nuclear powered cruise missile submarine) to the Persian Gulf. While this puts about 80 carrier based combat aircraft in area, it also brings over 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

If we announce one, could one or two others be close by?

Maybe we are getting ready just in case.