Robert Harneis TDO- (FRANCE)- The United States has formalized the re-establishment of its 2nd Fleet announced in May. Originally formed after the 2nd World War it was disbanded in 2011 under President Obama for economic reasons. It is a guiding principle of the Trump administration to undo everything that Obama did.
The US administration will be happy to awaken echoes of the 2nd fleet’s most important moment when it put into effect the blockade of Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis. President Trump is anxious to show he is not “soft on Russia”.
The fleet will be responsible for US naval forces along the US East Coast as well as the North Atlantic region.
“This is the United States’ and the US Navy’s dynamic response to a dynamic security environment,” Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, said at a ceremony aboard the USS George H.W. Bush.
“The 2nd Fleet will be our spearhead... for the Atlantic, maintaining America’s maritime superiority that will lead to maintaining our security, our influence and our prosperity around the world.”
The national defense strategy of President Donald Trump’s administration names China and Russia as America’s biggest threats and points to their increasing assertiveness and drive for new weapons such as hypersonic missiles and advanced torpedoes.
According to NATO, Russian planes and ships have in recent months regularly operated in the North Atlantic close to the airspace and territorial waters of US NATO allies, including Britain. NATO naval officials late last year also alleged Russian submarines probed underseas data cables in the North Atlantic.
In a similar gesture the United States reactivated the 4th Fleet in the South Atlantic, in 2008 in the last year of George W Bush’s presidency, as part of the feud with Venezuela.
Increasing naval forces always plays well with the US electorate with mid term elections coming in November this year. It is also a great favorite with the military industrial complex. Warships are extremely expensive to build and man.
Strategically however the continued wide spread deployment of large warships is questionable as they are extremely vulnerable to modern anti- ship missiles. It is also questionable how long the United States will be able to carry on with its vast military expenditure rivalling the expenditure of the next eight countries combined, this with no apparent threat from conventional forces anywhere in the world. The US government budget deficit for 2018 will be a staggering 775 billion dollars according to Bloomberg.