Sunday, July 23, 2006

U.S. Navy Renames the Persian Gulf

Rich Galen's July 5th column alerted me to an update to an earlier post, Iran Gets Something Right - the U.S. Navy has joined in the effort to rename the Persian Gulf. Today's example comes from the Fifth Fleet, "the seaborne component of the US Navy's Central Command operations."
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/ Commander, 5th Fleet's area of responsibility encompasses about 7.5 million square miles and includes the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 27 countries, includes three critical chokepoints at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.
Interestingly, the CUSNC website contains 15 pages referring to both the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Gulf. Overall, has at least 574 such documents. However, the Navy has 25,700 pages with the term "Persian Gulf" vs. 26,800 with the term "Arabian Gulf." It sounds like some geography (as well as consistency) lessons are needed.

The fleet also provides a map, including a notation for the well-known Arabian Sea, which should now be named the Indian Sea to avoid confusion with the neighboring gulf. Since there's already an Indian Ocean, the Indian Ocean will henceforth be known simply as "The Ocean".