[Strategic Intel] Why have the Iranians changed tactics in the Persian Gulf?

At least the past two years, the Iranian navy would send fast boats into international waters in the Persian Gulf to harass U.S. Navy vessels. The Iranian craft would speed and dart toward U.S. warships as they transited the gulf in tactics that were highly risky and at times provoked warning shots from American ships. However, for the past five months, no such incidents have occurred and the Pentagon is not certain yet why the tactic has come to a mysterious halt. “I hope it’s because we have messaged our readiness…and that it isn’t tolerable or how professional militaries operate,” Army Gen. Joseph Votel, who heads U.S. Central Command, told reporters last week. However…

This report will appear in the 1 February 2018 Strategic Intelligence Summary, a weekly look at global security, regional instability, U.S. and adversary military and security developments, current risk of war in the world’s four primary flashpoints, and the current security situation along the U.S.-Mexico border and south of the border. This report, and others like it, is available for Strategic Intelligence subscribers.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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