1. NEXT MOVE

    US Aircraft Carrier Sent to Persian Gulf

    The aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) transits the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea in this February 27, 2014 picture provided by the U.S. Navy. George H.W. Bush is on a scheduled deployment supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. Picture taken February 27. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Lt. Juan David Guerra/Handout via Reuters  (SPAIN - Tags: MILITARY MARITIME) 

ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTR3FU2G

    U.S. Navy/Reuters

    On Saturday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush to the Persian Gulf, a sign the U.S. may launch an air strike attack against Iraqi insurgents. The Pentagon said in a statement that the aircraft carrier gives the president “additional flexibility” to protect Americans in Iraq. The USS George H.W. Bush will be accompanied by guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun. With the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria's  (ISIS) takeover in many Iraqi cities this past week, the Iraqi government has asked for U.S. help. Obama has made it clear he will not send troops to Iraq, but that we will “do our part.” Launching air strikes could be Obama's plan for striking that balance. The Pentagon sustains the aircraft carrier's move is only a precaution "should military options be required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq."

    Read it at Reuters