December 9, 2023
US Announces Deployment of Nuclear Submarine to Middle East in Rare Move

The meaning in the message that a powerful American weapon was in the Middle East was not in what it said, but that it was said at all.

On Sunday, U.S. Central Command took to X and announced to the world that the United States had a nuclear submarine prowling the vast Middle East waters of Central Command’s territory.

“On November 5, 2023, an Ohio-class submarine arrived in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility,” Central Command posted.


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In writing about the announcement, Stars and Stripes noted that announcing the presence of a vessel designed to operate unseen was “rare.”

Fox News shared that conclusion.

“The U.S. is intending to send an unmistakable message to its enemies as officials acknowledging the use of these submarines or sharing information about their location is very rare. They represent part of America’s so-called ‘nuclear triad’ of atomic weapons — which also includes land-based ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs aboard strategic bombers,” Fox News wrote.

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Fox News noted that Central Command also posted an image of a B-1 bomber, which is capable of carrying nuclear weapons, it said was operating in the Middle East.

Collectively, the United States has more than 17,000 troops in the region that have been shifted there as a response to the Israel-Hamas war.

“It’s unusual to highlight the movement of strategic weapon systems like an Ohio-class submarine,” Director of the Middle East Security program at the Center for a New American Security Jonathan Lord said, according to Time.

“It really speaks to the administration’s efforts to keep Hezbollah and other actors from joining this fight and opening new fronts against Israel,” he said.


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But Eric Brewer, a former Director for Counterproliferation with the National Security Council, said there is a deeper meaning in the message that should trouble Americans.

“You don’t do the types of deployments (and messaging) the administration is doing in the region right now unless you have good reason to worry that Iran/LH/others may escalate,” he posted on X.

The announcement came after the two U.S. carrier strike groups in the region — the USS Gerald R. Ford and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower — conducted exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, Stars and Stripes reported.

The Eisenhower strike group has since moved through the Red Sea, meaning carrier strike groups are now to the west and southeast of Israel.

Ohio-class submarines can carry Tomahawk cruise missiles or ballistic missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

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