Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

On Sunday night, the White House announced that the Pentagon will deploy the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the US Central Command region “in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

In laymen’s terms: we’re sending a big ass aircraft carrier chock full of war planes to the Persian Gulf to intimidate Iran.

The announcement was made in a press release by U.S. national security advisor John Bolton, who is thirsty as hell for war with Iran, even if he won’t admit it.

“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime,” Bolton said in the statement, which no one should believe, “but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or regular Iranian forces.”

A U.S. official told The Guardian that the aircraft carrier and its forces “have been ordered to the region as a deterrence to what has been seen as potential preparations by Iranian forces and its proxies that may indicate possible attacks on US forces in the region.”

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From the Journal:

In the past, B-1 Lancers or B-52 Stratofortresses strategic bombers have been based at al-Udeid air base in Qatar. The U.S. has maintained a carrier in the Persian Gulf for years, but more recently minimized such deployments in favor of putting limited assets such as carriers and jet fighters in other areas of the globe. The deployment is expected to restore, at least for now, some of the military assets that have been removed from the region, officials said.

Funnily enough, it’s possible that this ship was heading to the Persian Gulf already, and casting this as a response to Iran is just a PR move on the part of Bolton and the administration.

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From the Journal:

The carrier Lincoln and its accompanying ships, which recently deployed from Norfolk, Va., may have ended up in the Persian Gulf eventually, but this move sends it there directly, officials said

Tensions with Iran have escalated throughout the Trump presidency. Last year, the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal that was engineered by the Obama administration. More recently, the Trump administration announced that waivers for countries which the U.S. has allowed to buy oil from Iran until now have been suspended, cutting off one of the country’s main revenue sources. And a few weeks ago, the U.S. classified the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.

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This is a classic American foreign policy play: drain a country with economic sanctions until they can’t take it anymore, then construe any action they take in retaliation as a unilateral attack. Call in the bombers, and you’re ready to go. Works every time!

In case there was any doubt, Bolton said that any attack on the U.S. or its allies by Iran or by proxy will be met with “unrelenting force.”

We can’t wait to see just how presidential Trump becomes when he has a real live war of his own to direct.