Providence (SSN 719): slowly tightening the noose

The nuclear-powered submarine USS PROVIDENCE (SSN 719) and Destroyer USS Mason(DDG-87) entered the Suez Canal Saturday from the Red Sea.

The officials said the warships are part of the American carrier battle group led by the USS Enterprise. U.S. military officials have ordered warships into the Mediterranean in case they are needed for Libya-related operations ranging from humanitarian assistance to possible military action.

— The Arab League endorsed a no-flight zone over Libya on March 12
Europe's leaders have clashed over the prospect of intervention in Libya, with Angela Merkel leading a campaign to block talk of air strikes and no-fly zones from David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy..

“If the international community chooses to play the role of bystander,” said Libyan official, Abdul Hafidh Ghoga, the vice chairman of the shadow government, the Libyan National Council, “we will have to defend ourselves.”

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