Gates orders second aircraft carrier off the Pak coast

The US is bracing for a massive step up of air strikes in Afghanistan with Defence Secretary Robert Gates ordering a second aircraft carrier into the Arabian Sea off the coast of Pakistan, a media report said.

Last Updated: Oct 19, 2010, 13:46 PM IST

Washington: The US is bracing for a massive
step up of air strikes in Afghanistan with Defence Secretary
Robert Gates ordering a second aircraft carrier into the
Arabian Sea off the coast of Pakistan, a media report said.

USS Lincoln has been ordered to be deployed in the
northern Arabian Sea apparently as part of moves to support a
major offensive against Taliban in Afghanistan. The Lincoln
will join a carrier already positioned in the area.

"Two carriers operating off the coast of Pakistan means
about 120 aircraft available for missions over Afghanistan.
And that`s not counting US Air Force missions flown out of
Bagram and Kandahar," CBS news reported.

"Although American commanders frequently say ‘we cannot
kill our way out of this war’, that appears to be exactly what
the US is doing - unleashing air strikes and special
operations raids against the Taliban in an effort to force
them to the bargaining table," the news channel said.

The CBS said that this is not likely to change the mind
of the Taliban leadership, which remains safe in Pakistan, but
Pentagon hopes that local commanders in Afghanistan will
either come over to the government side or agree to cease
fire.

PTI