US's force deployment in Middle East strengthened, leading to turbulent situation

China Military Online
Huang Panyue
2023-05-24 19:00:40

USS aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush.

By Liu Kehan

The situation in the Middle East has gradually improved with the relaxation and improvement of relations among Middle Eastern countries. However, at the same time, the US has made a series of deployment adjustments in the Middle East for its own interests and has strengthened its front-line sea and air forces, which has resulted in strong dissatisfaction from Iran. The regional security situation has become more complicated.

The US implements multiple measures to strengthen deterrence

Recently, the US has become rather restless due to the "steal the thunder" performance by Iran, Syria and other countries in regional affairs, and the centrifugal tendencies shown by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other US allies and partners. Under such circumstances, the US is trying to strengthen its military deployment, create tension and disrupt the Middle East to stabilize its regional influence.

In March this year, the B-52H strategic bomber, accompanied by several F-16 and F-35 fighter jets, appeared several times in the surrounding waters of the Persian Gulf on the grounds of participating in exercises and air shows. In April, the USS Florida (SSGN-728) , an Ohio-class strategic nuclear submarine, entered the Middle East and was deployed to the Fifth Fleet through the Suez Canal. In early May, the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier strike group set sail to carry out the deployment mission on the high seas. It will replace the USS aircraft carrier George H.W. Bushstrike group, which is currently active in the Atlantic Ocean. The media speculated that the US may take the opportunity to temporarily deploy "dual aircraft carriers" in the waters of the Middle East to increase tension in the Gulf region.

The US has been increasing the investment of the front-line troops while advancing the deployment of the strategic arsenal. Recently, the US announced that it will deploy at least 50 unmanned boats in the Middle East before the end of summer on the grounds that Iranian law enforcement ships seized two American cargo ships. These unmanned boats can undertake tasks such as maritime battlefield situational awareness, communication relay and underwater attack.

In addition, the US has sent more F-15 and F/A-18 fighter jets to several air bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan, and sent one E-8 early warning aircraft to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.The US has strengthened the deployment of the army and dispatched many soldiers and equipmentto border areas between Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Cooperation between Iran and Russia stabilizes the situation

Faced with US aggressiveness, Iran condemned the US military encirclement strategy through its official media. Iran pointed out that the main purpose of the US military deployment is to put pressure on Iran and undermine the peace in the Middle East, and Iran will fight back against any aggression. AnIranian armed forces spokesperson said that the Iranian military has sufficient tactics, experience and capabilities to ensure its dominance over the Strait of Hormuz.

At the same time, Iran has also strengthened its cooperation with Russia. The commanders-in-chief of the Iranian and Russian navies met in Tehran in mid-Mayand said that they would carry out a series of in-depth cooperation in the military field, including military scientific research and arms export. The two government departments have also signed a transit cooperation agreement, and the "transportation corridors" of the two countries will open to each other.

In addition, Iran has also proposed to hold joint exercises with Russia in waters such as the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Aden under bilateral and multilateral frameworks.

Regional situation becomes more complex

The influence of the US in the Middle East has weakened as a result of the improvement of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the outbreak of multiple conflicts in Israel. In this round of the game, the US has strengthened its troop deployment while working with its allies to put pressure on Iran.

Not long ago, the US Navy and more than 50 countries held a large-scale military exercise Cutlass Express 2023 to deter Iran. Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as NATO countries such as the UK, Italy and Germany, participated in the drill. This move means that the US intends to introduce foreign allies to the Middle East to strengthen the momentum of its own camp and consolidate its influence in the Middle East.

In the face of US hegemony, Iran has adopted a strategy of uniting Russia to resist the US. Apart from the common interests of the two countries, Iran also hopes to divert the focus of US-led Western countries to Europe and divert its own pressure. Analysts believe that the aggressive military encirclement by the US will lead to a more obvious camp-based game in the Middle East between the US and Iran, and the regional security situation will become more complicated.

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