US Warship Responds to Attacks in Red Sea

( – Ronald Reagan embraced the concept of “peace through strength” to achieve his goal of supporting freedom globally. The former president’s commitment to fulfilling that aim led to the modernization of America’s military forces. Despite the decades-long success of that doctrine, the Biden administration appears to have embraced the opposite belief that weakness promotes peace, as exemplified by its recent approach to mounting attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

On December 4, POLITICO published a report detailing its conversation with several government officials regarding their concerns about the administration’s response to those incidents. Speaking under the condition of anonymity, four of them claimed that US Naval vessels were facing hostile threats in the Red Sea despite claims presented to the contrary to the public by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and other White House and Defense Department officials.

Another official claimed the Biden administration was deliberately downplaying adversarial encounters in the Red Sea out of an overabundance of caution related to the expanding conflict between Israel and Hamas. A separate person said the White House had gone to great lengths to take a low-key public approach to those attacks “to avoid unnecessary escalation” in the Middle East.

A quick review of Sullivan’s remarks about the latest incident during a White House press briefing appeared to confirm those administration officials’ remarks. He discussed the December 3 decision by the commander of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the USS Carney, to shoot down three drones after receiving multiple distress calls about an attack on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

Houthi rebels, a Shiite movement believed to be aligned with Iraq, reportedly launched the attack on those ships. Reporters asked Sullivan if the vessels were aligned with Israel. He refused to give a definitive answer. Instead, he appeared to minimize the incident by characterizing the Houthis as a “reckless” group.

Likewise, Sullivan appeared to downplay the connection of the United States to the incident. For instance, he told reporters that military officials couldn’t assess whether that attack targeted the USS Carney or not — a claim that could lead to more than a few head scratches considering the tracking capabilities of American destroyers. Likewise, he emphasized the point that the vessels attacked by the Houthis weren’t US commercial ships. He said they represented a “variety” of nations.

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