IRAN/MILITARY/OIL/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump is pressing allies to join the United States in creating a fleet of warships to protect commercial oil tankers from attack by Iran in the Persian Gulf and nearby waters, despite alarm from some within the Pentagon that the mission could escalate into the kind of direct confrontation Mr. Trump is seeking to avoid. Mark T. Esper, the acting defense secretary, is casting the effort, called Sentinel, as something far less than a military offensive against Iran, but one that could bring European and gulf Arab allies together to safeguard one of the world’s vital trade routes…Some European allies, who have routinely been chastised by Mr. Trump for not doing enough for their collective defense, do not appear ready to join his initiative, while others appear open to discussing the proposal. And even some officials at the Pentagon and within the Navy have expressed alarm that the mission could return the United States and Iran to the deadly ‘Tanker War’ of three decades ago. While those in uniform would not discuss challenges of the proposed mission or be identified by name, their concerns were expressed by outside experts in regional military affairs.”

Helene Cooper, “Will Trump’s Plans to Counter Iran Bring a Return of the ‘Tanker War’?,” The New York Times online, June 28, 2019