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A Navy carrier strike group just rolled up on Iran's doorstep
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. aircraft carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln sailed through the vital Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, U.S. officials told Reuters, amid simmering tensions between Iran and the United States.
Tensions in the Gulf have risen since attacks on oil tankers this summer, including off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, and a major assault on energy facilities in Saudi Arabia. Washington has blamed Iran, which has denied being behind the attacks on global energy infrastructure.
The commander overseeing U.S. naval forces in the Middle East told Reuters in May that he would send an aircraft carrier through the Strait of Hormuz if needed.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Navy said the Lincoln transited through the Strait into the Gulf.
About a fifth of the world's oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz.
The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), left, the air-defense destroyer HMS Defender (D 36) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) transit the Strait of Hormuz with the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary Pearson)
The United States has deployed thousands of additional military forces in the Middle East, including bombers and air defense personnel, to act as a deterrent against what Washington says is provocative Iranian behavior.
The latest move comes as protests, sparked by gasoline price hikes, have spread across Iran since Friday, with demonstrators demanding that clerical leaders step down.
Waiting to buy fighter jets
Also on Tuesday, the U.S. military released a report that said Iran is likely to buy fighter jets and battle tanks from Russia and China when a United Nations-imposed arms embargo on Tehran -- under the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers -- is lifted next year.
While the U.N. arms embargo on Iran is supposed to be lifted in October 2020, five years after the nuclear deal took effect, it is questionable whether that will transpire given the recent unraveling of the accord.
The report said that Iran was already in discussions with Russia, and China to a lesser extent, to buy military hardware.
Earlier this month, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would regain access to the international arms market later next year if it stuck to the 2015 nuclear deal and this would prove "a huge political success."
The nearly 120-page report by the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency detailed Iranian military strategy and capabilities.
According to the report, Iran will deploy increasing numbers of more accurate and lethal ballistic missiles in the future and field new land-attack cruise missiles. And over the next decade, Iran's military could consider taking part in multilateral peace-keeping missions and building permanent bases in allied countries, the report said.
The Air Force's top general says one of the designers of the ride-sharing app Uber is helping the branch build a new data-sharing network that the Air Force hopes will help service branches work together to detect and destroy targets.
The network, which the Air Force is calling the advanced battle management system (ABMS), would function a bit like the artificial intelligence construct Cortana from Halo, who identifies enemy ships and the nearest assets to destroy them at machine speed, so all the fleshy humans need to do is give a nod of approval before resuming their pipe-smoking.
An F-15 is rocking a WWII paint job to honor a B-17 pilot who gave his life to save a wounded crewman
An F-15C Eagle is sporting a badass World War II-era paint job in honor of a fallen bomber pilot who gave everything to ensure his men survived a deadly battle.
A U.S. E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft crashed on Monday on Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has confirmed.
Beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Two days earlier, Army Spc. Antonio I. Moore was killed during a vehicle rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations in Syria.
Which one more deserves your grief and mourning? According to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, you only have enough energy for one.
After 70 years, service members are finally filing medical malpractice claims against the US military
Jessica Purcell, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, was pregnant with her first child when she noticed a swollen lymph node in her left underarm.
Health-care providers at a MacDill Air Force Base clinic told her it was likely an infection or something related to pregnancy hormones. The following year they determined the issue had resolved itself.
It hadn't. A doctor off base found a large mass in her underarm and gave her a shocking diagnosis: stage 2 breast cancer.
Purcell was pregnant again. Her daughter had just turned 1. She was 35. And she had no right to sue for malpractice.
A 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres doctrine prohibits military members like Purcell from filing a lawsuit against the federal government for any injuries suffered while on active duty. That includes injury in combat, but also rape and medical malpractice, such as missing a cancer diagnosis.
Thanks in part to Tampa lawyer Natalie Khawam, a provision in this year's national defense budget allows those in active duty to file medical malpractice claims against the government for the first time since the Feres case.
With the Department of Defense overseeing the new claims process, the question now is how fairly and timely complaints will be judged. And whether, in the long run, this new move will help growing efforts to overturn the ruling and allow active duty members to sue like everyone else.