Whoops

MSN is reporting today that 19 sailors were killed and 15 others wounded when an Iranian warship accidentally fired upon another warship during a training exercise.

The article reports:

The incident took place during training in the Gulf of Oman, a sensitive waterway that connects to the Strait of Hormuz through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes. Iran regularly conducts exercises in the area.

The frigate Jamaran fired at a training target released by a support ship, the Konarak. However, the support ship stayed too close to the target and was hit, state broadcaster IRIB said.

“The incident took place in the perimeter of Iran’s southern Bandar-e Jask port on the Gulf of Oman during Iranian Navy drills on Sunday afternoon, in which 19 sailors were killed and 15 others were injured,” state TV said, quoting the navy.

Fars news agency quoted an unidentified military official as denying some Iranian media reports that the Konarak had sunk. The navy statement said investigations were undergoing regarding the cause of the incident, student news agency ISNA said.

IRIB said the Dutch-made Konarak vessel, which was purchased before Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, had been overhauled in 2018, and is equipped with four cruise missiles.

My sympathies to the families impacted, but not to the government that made this possible.

This Is A Dangerous Game

Yesterday American Military News posted an article (and pictures) about a group of Iranian warships playing ‘chicken’ with American warships in international waters of the North Arabian Gulf. That is a dangerous game.

The article reports:

The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said late Wednesday that 11 Iranian ships harassed multiple U.S. warships in international waters today, and captured the dangerous encounter in photos and a video.

USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), USS Firebolt (PC 10), USS Sirocco (PC 6), USCGC Wrangell (WPB 1332) and USCGC Maui (WPB 1304) were conducting joint operations along with U.S. Army AH-64E Apache helicopters when the encounter occurred.

The Iranian vessels came within 10 yards of USCGC Maui’s bow, and 50 yards from USS Lewis B. Puller. U.S. ships were forced to take action to avoid colliding with Iranian boats.

U.S. crews issued radio warnings, five blasts from ships’ horns, and sounded acoustic noise makers, but were ignored by Iranian crews.

After an hour, Iranian crews finally responded and turned away from the U.S. warships.

“The IRGCN’s dangerous and provocative actions increased the risk of miscalculation and collision, were not in accordance with the internationally recognized Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) ‘rules of the road’ or internationally recognized maritime customs, and were not in accordance with the obligation under international law to act with due regard for the safety of other vessels in the area,” U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said in a statement.

There are a number of possible motives for this harassment of American ships. If the Iranian government can focus its population on a common enemy, the Iranian people might overlook the severe economic problems the country is currently having. Also, if the Iranian government can drag America into a war in the Middle East, that will significantly drain America’s wealth and resources. We have seen that principle at work for the past twenty years. Either way, Iran is playing a dangerous game–they are not dealing with Barack Obama or Jimmy Carter–they are dealing with a President who believes in America and its right to defend itself. I expect there will be some reaction to this from the White House. We may not see it–it may happen behind closed doors, but I do believe President Trump will hold Iran accountable for their actions.

This Doesn’t Seem Very Peaceful To Me

CNN is reporting today that Iranian warships briefly pointed the weapons on its deck at a U.S. military helicopter and coalition warship two weeks ago in the Gulf of Aden. First of all–this story is listed under CNN Politics. This is not politics–this is national security–which until recent years was apolitical. One of the problems with the current politicians in Washington is that they are perfectly willing to sacrifice the good of America for the good of their political party. Term limits are needed, but that is another article.

The article at CNN reports:

In a statement released early Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Navy characterized the interaction as “unsafe and unprofessional.”

The U.S. Navy took photos of the incident but has not publicly released them. The incident was observed by the USS Farragut, which had launched the U.S. helicopter.

The official said it’s been several weeks since there have been any serious encounters with Iranian military ships, although on two recent occasions, U.S. Navy ships did sound their horns to warn Iranian ships they were too close, and those ships moved to a farther distance.

The U.S. Navy said its forces are routinely approached by Iranian warships as they operate in the region, with the majority of all interactions by the Iranians conducted “in a safe and professional manner.”

“Unsafe and unprofessional!” What does it take for America to stand up and say that this is unacceptable? I am not in a hurry to go to war with anyone, but it seems to me that if we do not stand up to this sort of bullying at some point, it is only going to get worse. Obviously, the time to stand up to this bully is before he is equipped with nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, our current leadership in the White House does not seem to understand that.