ON BOARD OF THE USS RONALD REAGAN, GULF OF OMAN // The US military has begun reinforcing its presence in Afghanistan weeks ahead of an expected troop build-up amid reassurances that efforts to avoid civilian casualties will be redoubled.
This month, George W Bush, the US president, said he would be sending an additional 4,500 soldiers to Afghanistan while pulling 8,000 US troops from Iraq as a result of the security gains there.
Take a good look at a map.
Whatever these naval planes are doing, we're talking about a millions of dollars' worth of jet fuel to fly whatever missions are being flown into Afghanistan.
Note, also, how close the Gulf of Oman is to Iran.
One has to wonder, with the US economy in such a mess, just how desperate this US administration is to start a war - any war - in order to deflect from the worsening economy.