Popping the Iranian Cork in the Strait of Hormuz

Eight major maritime chokepoints, through which oil tankers transit, exist globally. Seventeen million barrels of oil daily pass through one of them – the Strait of Hormuz.

Located off the coast of Iran, situated between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, uninterrupted oil flow through it provides an energy lifeline for Asia and Europe.

Little publicized, however, is this: In a 2002 effort to keep the Strait open against Iranian forces, the U.S. Navy was soundly defeated – losing sixteen ships in the process!

Fortunately, this effort was only a war game called “Millennium Challenge” – an exercise that cost $250 million and took two years to prepare. But so shocked were war gamers at this result, they immediately changed the rules of the game to effect a different outcome. Continue reading