How Marines Could Defend Energy Supply

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US Marines could soon be stationed on civilian ships to defend against Iranian v attack, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Following increased Iranian attacks on oil tankers, the US Government will soon be offering optional armed protection on high-risk ships. US Marines and Sailors would offer close protection in case Iranian troops attempted to board the cargo. Iran has a long history of naval seizure to leverage its diplomatic position:

Iran also seized a series of ships in the strait in 2019 as part of its efforts to pressure the West over collapsed nuclear talks. Attacks on two tankers in June 2019 near the strait sent crude futures surging and brought with it inevitable comparisons to the so-called Tanker War of the mid-1980s, in which Iran and Iraq attacked each other’s ships and Tehran eventually targeted foreign-flagged vessels.

Increased Iranian attacks were already the reason for surging troops in the Middle-East, at a time when China’s military buildup was drawing troops to the Pacific region. The Russian war in Ukraine has also made military allocation of resources more difficult to balance.

President Biden has attempted a dual strategy of engaging Iran for nuclear enrichment talks, while repelling aggression at sea. Whether this balancing act remains tenable remains to be seen.


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