2000 soldiers – to do what?
According to official word, those 2000 soldiers will be in theater, but not to perform any combat role. Exactly what role they are to perform, is not clear.
2000 soldiers is the strength of an augmented infantry regiment, that might contain a small security and intelligence battalion. What an extra regiment could do in combat is not clear, either, given the Israel Defense Forces’ operating strength. Those soldiers could deploy for any of many support roles, or to train IDF soldiers in advanced weapons.
In addition, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN-69 and her battle group are on their way to the Mediterranean. USS Gerald R. Ford CVN-78, first in a class of the largest aircraft carriers afloat, is waiting. She and her battle group are the current Task Force 60 and are near the end of their tour. But the language of the article in Navy Times announcing the deployment of Eisenhower strongly hints that Ford and her battle group will remain on-station.
While the Ike’s strike group deployed to replace Ford’s, it remains unclear how long both strike groups will operate off Israel, or when Ford will begin returning home.
Ford had just completed a joint exercise with the Italian Navy. Two carrier battle groups, with their carrier air wings, would double the Naval strength usually in the Mediterranean. The Air Force also has many assets in the region – including A-10 Thunderbolts, designed for close-combat support. (The “A” stands for “Attack,” which means attacking ground targets.)
The President has announced plans to visit Israel tomorrow (October 18), according to The Center Square.) Speculation on any hidden purpose he might have is rife. Some suggest he’s there for a photo opportunity and to delay any IDF incursion into Gaza. Others suggest he’s there to legitimatize and directly authorize such an incursion (as if the IDF needs American authorization). Biden is on record as not favoring any such incursion.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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