Tremble for your nation when you reflect how the leaner, smarter, more adaptable military gets into fighting trim. The 50-year-old carrier USS Enterprise will start its final deployment with a training exercise against a bunch of made-up civilizations Gene Roddenberry himself would have found hard to dramatize. From Navy Times:
The carrier and its entourage of support ships are in the Atlantic Ocean, somewhere east of Florida, with land completely out of sight. But for the purposes of the drill, they're cruising near the fictitious Treasure Coast. Maps displayed on the bridge's monitors show the contours of the Eastern Seaboard, the Gulf of Mexico and a good chunk of the Midwest, but all state borders have been removed and replaced with a handful of countries that come with their own boundaries and political allegiances.
Enterprise and its strike group are focused on Garnet and North Garnet, countries that support terrorism on the Treasure Coast. They're fundamentalist Shahida states — a faux-theocracy — and they want to reunite with Pyrope, one of the nine other made-up countries.
On Enterprise, intelligence analysts evaluate the situation, fighter squadrons plan sorties, and the ship's newspaper, "The Shuttle," prints an extra section that details the international political situation. It's a novella set at sea that grows more complex as hours past.
"Those pesky Garnetians," strike group commander Rear Adm. Walter Carter Jr. told sailors after a day packed with maneuvers, launches and landings.
The Navy says the training isn't specifically tailored to a possible U.S.-Iran scenario.
"We're training for all the mission areas," said Rear Adm. Dennis FitzPatrick, commander of Strike Force Training Atlantic. Those include anti-submarine warfare and counterpiracy missions.
The drills do have applications for potential tension with Iran, however. Treasure Coast includes a fake strait about 200 miles east of Orlando that, like the Strait of Hormuz, is about 35 miles wide at its narrowest point.
"There obviously is an emphasis on where we think the ship will go," FitzPatrick said.
Thanks, Admiral. You might even put a little more emphasis on where the ship will go. Is there some pattern of revanchist governments looking to form a Bismarckian superstate in the Persian Gulf that the liberal media haven't been reporting on? (And wouldn't that be just like the liberal media?)
I'm no supporter of U.S. policy in the Middle East, but the situation there is pretty clear: A country (Iran) led by a demagogue with dwindling popular and political support may or may not be making the necessary effort to develop nuclear weapons while at the same time meddling in the affairs of one country (Syria) whose dictator appears to be on his last legs, solidifying its gains in another country (Iraq) whose hostile dictator was helpfully removed by force of American arms, and supporting a militia in another country (Lebanon) nobody cares much about.
Bonus points for blurring the distinctions between U.S. territory and that of other nations, however. That will certainly come in handy when the Navy finally cracks down on Occupy Guam.
Courtesy of Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge, who writes: "[T]he farcism that has defined capital markets for the past 3 years is slowly migrating to military planning."