CIPHER BRIEF REPORTING – Less than a month ago, with global attention fixed on the Ukrainian offensive, U.S. Admiral James Stavridis (ret.) sought to open the security aperture a bit more by pointing to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and its seizure of a pair of huge oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.
Billed as the world’s most important energy chokepoint, transiting one-third of total seaborne oil exports and a quarter of its liquefied natural gas, Stavridis said that to protect shipping in the strait, the U.S may be drawn back into a role it assumed during anti-shipping campaigns of the 1980s, known as the “Tanker War.” Back then, amidst ongoing conflict between Iraq and Iran, American ships escorted oil tankers through the Persian Gulf – a positioning that resulted in a one-day battle between Washington and Tehran.
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