- American dream dying, but many see free market as solution: Poll
- Air Force base in South Carolina boots Nativity scene
- Israel poised for a $173M boost from the U.S. for missile defense
- Leon Panetta named as source of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ scriptwriter’s information
- Mandela service sign language interpreter: ‘He made up his own signs’
- Pope Francis named Time’s ‘Person of the Year’
- Ben Affleck: Fundraising for Democrats started to ‘feel gross’
- Vladimir Putin orders military to boost presence in Arctic
- Brooklyn, N.Y.: ‘Lesbian capital’ of the Northeast
- Elian Gonzalez: It’s America’s fault that my mother died
Pentagon: 4 destroyers, aircraft carrier to remain near Syria
The Navy will keep four destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean and an aircraft carrier strike group in the Red Sea to maintain a “strong military posture” for a potential strike on Syria, the Pentagon said Thursday.
“We have no plans at this time to change our military posture in the Mediterranean,” Pentagon press secretary George Little said. “We’re prepared for any potential military contingencies that might involve Syria.”
U.S. officials have voiced the need for continuing to apply military pressure on Syria as the Obama administration explores a possible diplomatic solution by working with Russia through the United Nations to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons program.
“There are potential diplomatic scenarios that could lead to positive developments, so we’re clear-eyed about those discussions with the Russians, and we need to see where they go. But we believe very strongly that the credible threat of military strikes has enabled the diplomatic process to unfold,” Mr. Little said.
The USS Nimitz carrier strike group, which has three destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser, has been extended for an additional two weeks in the Red Sea from the date it was due to start returning home to the Pacific Coast.
The destroyer USS Stout recently entered the Mediterranean to replace the USS Barry, the deployment of which in the region has been extended. Two other destroyers — the USS Ramage and the USS Gravely — also are deployed in the Mediterranean.
Navy officials said it would cost at least $2 million per week to keep a destroyer extended beyond a scheduled deployment and between $25 to $40 million per week to extend a carrier strike group, depending on the tempo of operations.
If costs continue beyond the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1, the Navy will have to take actions to absorb extra costs, such as requesting supplemental funding from Congress, borrowing from the last quarter of the fiscal 2014 budget or taking funds from another program.
“If this country decides it is in our national interest to conduct a military option, then this country has historically found a way to fund it,” Mr. Little said.
“I don’t think it was arm-twisting. I think it was an honest, open, candid discussion,” Mr. Little said of the meeting. “Ongoing engagement is the name of the game.”
“The option that we’ve been contemplating is limited in duration and scope, and it will involve no boots on the ground,” he said. “It is in the national interest of the United States to ensure that chemical weapons are not used. We’re going to maintain a strong military posture.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Scientists raise alarm over plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons at sea
- Hagel renews Qatar defense pact despite differences over Iran, Syria
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warns Pakistani leaders of U.S. aid losses over drone-strike protests
- Air Force building drone for operations in 'hostile' airspace: Report
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Teen thugs in DC run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- New budget accord saves $23 billion -- after $65 billion spending spree
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- More than a quarter million sign up for Obamacare in November
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.s gun registration, files for summary judgement in Heller II
- Gov't Motors: Obama fudges math on auto bailout, $10.5 billion loss for taxpayers
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Human interest stories to feed interest, satisfy curiosity and see outside the box.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
News and views on the Civil War.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow