US/British Military Build up in the Gulf

In three days time, US citizens will be heading to the ballot boxes to elect their president for the next four years. Conflicts in the Middle East and Iran's nuclear programme are expected to be the key issues that will influence the choice of the US electorate – particularly in respect of whether each of the two presidential candidates will address these two issues with a peaceful approach or with military intervention.

War is looking more likely to take place than peace. At least that is what could be concluded from the presence of three US aircraft carriers against hundreds of Iranian warships and gunboats in the Arabian Gulf.

According to the British daily newspaper, The Independent, the British government is expected to send fighter jets to the Gulf region to join the British aircraft carrier already stationed in the Gulf. This could be another sign that war is coming to the region.

The Independent said that the expected decision to send Typhoon fighters – the latest and most advanced military production of the United Kingdom – is the fruit of bilateral talks between the UK and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the decision should be officially announced within the next few days.

Israeli threats to attack Iran's nuclear facilities are no more a secret. There are circulating reports suggesting that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has agreed with the US President, Barack Obama, to carry out a joint military strike against Iran and its nuclear facilities through the first three months of 2013.

This agreement was a reward to Netanyahu for his endorsement on delaying the unilateral strike he was intending to make until the end of the US presidential election.

Britain has always been a "thermometer" by which we can estimate the temperature of the political and security situation in the Middle East. The British are known to be the masterminds on which the Americans are depending when they decide to attack any of the Middle East countries, due to Britain's close knowledge of the region, its geography, it is demographics, and the power balance in each country. So when Britain decides to send an aircraft carrier, bombers and fighter jets to the Arabian Gulf, this means that war is imminent.

Of course sometimes the mobilisation of military forces could be some sort of psychological war or political pressure, but seeing how massive the military preparations made by the United States and Israel are, we can say with some measure of confidence that what is happening has gone far beyond a psychological war.

We are only a few days from learning who will be the next US president, and then the US administration will start to deal more seriously with both internal and external issues. The next year is going to be decisive for many files concerning the Middle East, and the conflict with Iran will obviously top the agenda..