May 11, 2019

U.S. deploys second warship to Middle East amid threats from Iran

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan approved the USS Arlington and Patriot battery's movement. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The U.S. is deploying the USS Arlington, an amphibious transport ship, and a Patriot air defense system to U.S. Central Command in the Middle East, the Defense Department announced on Friday.

What to watch: This decision is partially based on U.S. intelligence that says Iran has green-lit some proxy forces to "go after American military personnel and assets in the region," 3 U.S. officials told NBC. An anonymous defense official told the AP the same thing last Monday, saying Iran and its proxy forces were preparing to possibly attack U.S. forces in the region.

"The United States does not seek conflict with Iran, but we are postured and ready to defend U.S. forces and interests in the region."
— DOD in a statement on Friday

The backdrop: The U.S. deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force earlier this week to send "a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime" that attacks on U.S. interests or allies will be met with force.

  • President Trump announced sanctions on Iran's iron, steel, aluminum and copper exports this week in an effort to curb any revenue that may be used for developing weapons, amid renewed tensions regarding the Iran nuclear deal.

Go deeper: Trump's next moves to tank the Iranian economy

Go deeper

These swing voters don't like Trump’s environmental rollbacks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Swing voters in four battleground states decisively oppose President Trump’s sweeping rollbacks of environmental regulations — but it’s unlikely to sway their votes.

Why it matters: It’s voters living in states like these, including Florida and Pennsylvania, who fill pivotal roles electing America’s presidents, so we should listen.

Focus group: What some Florida swing voters think of Bloomberg

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Contributor

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Some swing voters here are unbothered by the way Michael Bloomberg is spending heaps of his own money to help him win the race — but they're split over whether they'd actually vote for the New York billionaire over President Trump.

Why it matters: Bloomberg is the only Democrat who was even slightly intriguing to these voters. They're happy with Trump and don't feel like they recognize the current Democratic Party relative to when they voted for Barack Obama.

In photos: India welcomes president with massive "Namaste Trump" rally

First Lady Melania Trump, President Trump and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the "Namaste Trump" rally at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told a massive crowd at a rally in Ahmedabad, northwest India, Monday he hopes to reach a trade deal with his ""true friend" Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to the country "except he's a very tough negotiator."

Why it matters: The countries are forging deeper ties, particularly in the military dimension, as India’s location, size and economic growth making it the "obvious counterweight to China" for American policymakers, per Axios' Dave Lawler and Zachary Basu. Modi demonstrated the importance of the visit with a "Namaste Trump" rally at a packed 110,000-capacity Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad — the world's largest cricket venue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - World