MANAMA (Dispatches) -- A U.S.-led task force will deploy over 100 unmanned vessels in the Persian Gulf region’s strategic waters by next year to purportedly stave off maritime threats, the U.S. Central Command chief said Saturday.
The announcement by General Michael Kurilla at the annual Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain came after the occupying regime of Israel and the United States blamed Iran for a drone strike off the coast of Oman this week that hit a tanker operated by an Israeli-owned firm.
The attack was the latest in a string of disruptions in Persian Gulf waters that are a key route for world energy supplies.
“By this time next year, Task Force 59 will bring together a fleet of over 100 unmanned surface and subsurface vessels operating together, communicating together and providing maritime domain awareness,” the CENTCOM chief said.
Launched in September 2021, Task Force 59 was created in Bahrain, home to the U.S. navy’s Fifth Fleet, to integrate unmanned systems and artificial intelligence into Middle East operations.
Unmanned surface boats are a new technology that are essential for security in the future, according to the Fifth Fleet.
In addition to the unmanned vessels, the U.S. is “building an experimentation program here in the Middle East to beat adversary drones with our partners,” Kurilla said without elaborating.
The CENTCOM chief called the development of “adversary drones” the greatest technological threat to regional security.
The United States has been building up its military presence in the Persian Gulf region and stoking tensions, contrary to its claims of a planned withdrawal from the Middle East.
The situation is very similar to the U.S. grandstanding in Eastern Europe, where the deployment of American troops and military assets finally led to the outbreak of the massive Ukraine war with Russia.
Many observers believe Washington is in fact trying to share the cost of its militarism with its allies by engaging their armies, rather than disengaging from the Middle East and elsewhere. This, they say, is recipe for further tension and insecurity.
Iranian officials have warned against the adverse consequences of foreign meddling and presence in the Persian Gulf, saying the countries of the region can jointly establish security and stability in their neighborhood on their own.
Tehran says there is no contradiction between Iran’s national interests and those of the regional countries, and that foreign powers should not be allowed to use the differences in the national interests of the regional states as a pretext to legitimize their hegemonic policies.
Iranian officials have also stressed that the country’s priority for interaction with neighbors is not a “temporary tactic” but a “fundamental strategy.”
They say Intervention of foreigners and their military presence in the Persian Gulf does not bring stability and security and that tegional countries can ensure stability and security in the region through political cooperation and economic convergence.