WASHINGTON — Officials at the Pentagon breathed a collective sigh of relief this week after receiving word that the tankers damaged Thursday in the Gulf of Oman were actually accidental collisions with US Navy warships.
According to reports from 7th Fleet, both tankers were damaged nearly simultaneously by the USS Boxer (LHD 4) and the USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) in completely unrelated yet fortuitous acts of gross negligence.
"We are happy to announce that reports of Iranian attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were merely incompetence and dereliction of duty on the part of the U.S. Navy and not the harbinger of future wars to come," said 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Phillip G. Sawyer.
While a win for US foreign policy, it is a major blow for the the U.S. Navy, who have been grasping at relevancy since the cancellation of 70's sitcom "CPO Sharkey." Everyone at the Department of the Navy, including key defense strategy analysts, had been working at a fever pitch determining the implication of Thursday's attacks on inter-state strategic competition.
"We can take solace in the fact that they are already back to providing in-depth analysis of the battles in Game of Thrones," said Sawyer.
Iran's U.N. Mission also praised the announcement, calling it the most positive diplomatic action on behalf of the United States military since Iran's seizure of two US riverine command boats in 2016.
"I commend the officers of the U.S. warships for not 'giving up the ship' this time," the Iranian mission said in a statement. "Instead, they chose to errantly ram that ship into an oil tanker."
An investigation into both incidents remains ongoing, but the same senior Navy officials who appoint and ham-handedly relieve officers found guilty of misconduct are confident that the findings will result in sweeping changes to how the Navy shifts blame in future incidents.
"Disciplining only senior officers is not consistent with other branches of the military, who usually vilify more junior personnel first," said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. "I will ensure the results change that behavior in the future."