With two U.S. aircraft carriers operating in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time since 2016, it would be hard for Russia to miss the intended message.
But to hammer the point home, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman visited the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on Tuesday, according to a 6th Fleet news release.
"Each of the carriers operating in the Mediterranean at this time represent 100,000 tons of international diplomacy," Huntsman said in the news release. "Diplomatic communication and dialogue coupled with the strong defense these ships provide demonstrate to Russia that if it truly seeks better relations with the United States, it must cease its destabilizing activities around the world."
The Lincoln and carrier USS John C. Stennis began dual operations in the Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday, the news release says. Currently, more than 10 ships, 130 aircraft, and 9,000 Marines and sailors are deployed to the region.
"Two carrier strike groups operating simultaneously, while also integrating and advancing interoperability with our highly capable NATO allies and partners, provides an unprecedented deterrent against unilateral aggression, as well as combined lethality," said Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.
Rhe deployment of two carriers may be meant to reassure NATO allies of the United States' commitment to the alliance, but it also comes a week after the release of the Mueller Report, which detailed Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential elections.
Russian military intelligence units broke into computers belonging to Democratic operatives and shared hundreds of thousands of pages of stolen documents, the report found.
"The Russians present a risk," Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters on April 18. "My job is to manage the risk. We have tremendous capability at Cyber Command and the NSA."
Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."
"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.
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President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.
"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"
The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.
"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."
U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur/Handout via REUTERS
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.
"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."