With Few Members, US Launches Anti-Iran Maritime Force

A month of recruitment netted three other participants

A solid month of US recruitment for an anti-Iran naval coalition to operate in the Persian Gulf has come to fruition, such as it is, and was officially launched this week, with Defense Secretary Mark Esper playing it up as a way to defend merchant vessels.

Heavily courting NATO, EU member nations, and other global powers, the US initially presented this back in July as a huge deal. In the end, they managed to get three other participants, Britain, Australia, and Bahrain.

Many nations were very public in rejecting the idea of joining the operation, both in that they don’t envision Iran posing a threat to their ships in the first place, and particularly in that in joining the US fleet they’d be making themselves a target if the US escalates this into a war.

Indeed, even this paltry collection of participants was inflated by Britain announcing their own fleet, recruiting for it, and then folding it into the US version when it became apparent there was so little interest.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.