US Deploys Nuclear-Powered Carrier USS Truman To Red Sea Amid Escalating Houthi Threat

The United States is preparing to send the USS Harry S. Truman, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, to the Red Sea as part of its ongoing efforts to counter the threat posed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen. The deployment comes amidst the backdrop of the Gaza war, which has seen at least 20 ships damaged in the Red Sea due to the Houthis’ campaign to target Israel and its international supporters.

The Truman and its crew of approximately 6,000 sailors have been undergoing extensive training in the western Atlantic Ocean for this high-stakes mission. Pilots have been conducting flight deck testing, fully aware that they will be tasked with shooting down drones and munitions launched by the Houthis later this year.

The U.S.-led Operation Prosperity Guardian, aimed at ensuring freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, has faced criticism for its apparent ineffectiveness. Despite the efforts of U.S. warships, which have shot down dozens, if not hundreds, of drones and missiles, the Houthis remain undeterred. Critics, including European allies and think tanks like the Atlantic Council, have expressed frustration with the U.S. failure to rally partners and allies behind its leadership in the region.

The deployment of the Truman is seen as the Pentagon’s next step in addressing the ongoing threat. However, some worry that the massive 1,000-foot-long, 104,000-ton vessel may simply present a larger target for Houthi attacks.

Adm. Daryl Caudle, head of the U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Command, emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating that sailors are preparing to enter a “weapon engagement zone” and that this deployment is not about “drill[ing] holes in the water somewhere” but about being “employed for combat.”

The Truman’s deployment raises questions about the lack of formal Congressional authorization for engaging in war with Yemen or the Houthis, a pattern that has emerged throughout the more than 20 years of the Global War on Terror.

As the U.S. continues to expend billions in response to the spillover from the Gaza conflict, the Truman’s mission in the Red Sea underscores the complex challenges and high stakes faced by American forces in the region.

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