The Risk of Miscalculation

By Admiral Jonathan Greenert

Jonathan W. Greenert is a retired four-star admiral and former Chief of Naval Operations (2011-2015). Over the course of his 40 year Navy career, he served 15 years in the Asia-Pacific region including Deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Commander, U.S. Seventh (Asia-Pacific) Fleet, establishing enduring relationships with his foreign counterparts.  He also served as Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Chief Financial Officer (N8-Navy) and Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Admiral Greenert retired from military service in October 2015 and currently holds the Chair in National Security (General John Shalikashvili Chair) for the National Bureau for Asian Research, and serves as a consultant, adviser and director on corporate boards.

According to U.S. Navy officials, confrontations between American and Iranian naval vessels in the Persian Gulf have risen by roughly 50 percent. This despite the fact that the landmark Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal with Iran, which lifted nuclear sanctions on the country, was implemented in January 2016. The Cipher Brief sat down with former Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, to find out why.

The Cipher Brief: Over the past several months, Iranian naval vessels have performed dozens of high-speed intercepts of U.S. naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz. What are the dangers presented by such maneuvers?  

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