COMMENTARY | According to Fox News, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced, from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, that her battle group will be sent to the Persian Gulf and through the Strait of Hormuz.
This operation is the direct result of Iranian threats to close that important waterway and the warning to the U.S. Navy to stay out of the Persian Gulf. No country, not even won governed by President Barack Obama, could accept that challenge unanswered. The freedom of navigation of the seas has been American policy since its very founding.
In a way, Iran has already won just for making the threat. The Wall Street Window reports the price of oil has spiked because of increasing tensions in the Persian Gulf area. The presence of an American carrier battle group in the body of water, just off Iranian shores with its missile batteries, will likely send oil prices even higher.
Americans have been feeling it at the pump already. Any hope of an economic recovery is likely to be tamped down by spiking energy costs. This is exacerbated by Obama's refusal to lift restrictions on domestic energy production and the failure to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
While few predict a shooting war in the Persian Gulf, which would be short and lopsided, it is perversely in everyone's best interest -- with the exception of America, Europe, and any other country that imports oil -- to keep the pot boiling. Spiking oil prices, as an analysis in the New York Times points out, benefits other petroleum exporting countries such as Russia, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. The longer tensions keep on, the longer oil with be sold at a premium, and the more money oil exporters make at our expense.
Two things have to happen to change this unhappy state of affairs.
First, Iran has to be put down, one way or another. Either regime change must happen or its capacity to make mischief beyond its borders has to be eliminated.
Second, domestic energy production has to be encouraged to the maximum extent possible. Encouragement of alternative means of energy production is fine, especially if it includes nuclear and fusion, as well as the politically correct wind and solar. But the kingdoms of the Earth for now run on oil. The more we can get from our own resource, and from friends such as Canada, the better.