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Senior U.S. military officers are considering increasing the American military presence in the east Mediterranean, Barbara Starr of CNN reports.”From there, you can get to a lot of places in a short period of time,” one military official with direct knowledge of the discussions told CNN. “What we are looking at is what is our presence in the region and what should it be.”
Starr notes that the easiest option would be to extend deployments of Navy ships passing through the region. That was done this week when three warships on reserve—carrying more than 2,000 Marines, Harrier jets, V-22 tilt rotor aircraft and a variety of helicopters— was ordered to head to Israel in case Americans needed evacuation in a worst case scenario.
“This is post-Benghazi,” the official said. “We’re looking at instability in Libya, Egypt, Syria and now Israel and Gaza.”
Perhaps Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knew America’s plans when he said today that the U.S. will cooperate with Israel to curb terror organisations rearming themselves.
President Obama told Netanyahu the US would intensify efforts to help Israel address the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza.
— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) November 21, 2012
Starr notes the Navy previously announced that four warships capable of providing ballistic missile defence—the USS Ross, the USS Donald Cook, the USS Carney and the USS Porter—will now be based at Rota, Spain.
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