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更新时间:2017-4-19 18:34:31 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Aircraft Carrier Wasn’t Sailing to Deter North Korea, as U.S. Suggested

WASHINGTON — A week ago, the White House declared that ordering an American aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan would send a powerful deterrent signal to North Korea and give President Trump more options in responding to the North’s provocative behavior. “We’re sending an armada,” Mr. Trump said to Fox News that afternoon.

华盛顿——白宫一周前宣布,命令一艘美国航母进入日本海会给朝鲜发出一个强有力的威慑信号,并让特朗普在应对朝鲜的挑衅行为时有更多选择。“我们会派出一支舰队,”特朗普当天下午对福克斯新闻(Fox News)说。

The problem was that the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the three other warships in its strike force were that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean, 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula.

问题是那一刻,那艘名为“卡尔文森号”(Carl Vinson)的航空母舰和属于其打击力量的另外三艘战舰正驶向相反的方向,参加与澳大利亚海军在位于朝鲜半岛西南3500英里(约合5600公里)的印度洋举行的联合演习。

White House officials said Tuesday that they had been relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events, from an ill-timed announcement of the deployment by the military’s Pacific Command to an erroneous explanation by the defense secretary, Jim Mattis — all of which perpetuated the false narrative that a flotilla was racing toward the waters off North Korea.

白宫官员周二表示,他们一直依赖国防部的引导。国防部官员则说到了一连串失误不断的事件,从军方的太平洋司令部(Pacific Command)宣布相关部署的时机不当,到国防部长吉姆·马蒂斯(Jim Mattis)的解释有误。这一切都让一支小型舰队正在快速驶向朝鲜附近水域的不实说法延续了下来。

By the time the White House was asked about the Carl Vinson, its imminent arrival had been emblazoned on front pages across East Asia, fanning fears that Mr. Trump was considering a pre-emptive military strike. It was portrayed as further evidence of the president’s muscular style days after he ordered a missile strike on Syria while he and President Xi Jinping of China were chatting over dessert during a meeting in Florida.


With Mr. Trump himself playing up the show of force, Pentagon officials said, rolling back the story became difficult.


The saga of the wayward carrier might never have come to light had the Navy not posted a photo online Monday of the Carl Vinson sailing south through the Sunda Strait, which separates the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. It was taken on Saturday, four days after the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, described its mission in the Sea of Japan.

如果不是海军周一在网上发出一张照片,显示“卡尔文森号”向南驶过印度尼西亚爪哇岛和苏门答腊岛之间的巽他海峡,有关这艘无定向航母的故事也许永远不会公开。照片是周六拍摄的,距白宫新闻发言人肖恩·斯派塞(Sean Spicer)介绍它在日本海的任务已过去了四天。

Now, the Carl Vinson is finally on a course for the Korean Peninsula, expected to arrive in the region next week, according to Defense Department officials. White House officials declined to comment on the confusion, referring all questions to the Pentagon. “Sean discussed it once when asked, and it was all about process,” a spokesman, Michael Short, said of Mr. Spicer.

现在,据国防部官员称,“卡尔文森号”终于在前往朝鲜半岛的路上了,预计下周抵达该地区。白宫官员不愿评论相关混乱,把所有问题都推给了五角大楼。“被问到时肖恩说过一次,这完全是流程造成的,”白宫发言人迈克尔·肖特(Michael Short)在说到斯派塞时表示。

Privately, however, other officials expressed bewilderment that the Pentagon did not correct its timeline, particularly given the tensions in the region and the fact that Mr. Spicer, as well as the national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, were publicly answering questions about it.

然而私下里,其他官员对五角大楼没有调整其时间安排表示困惑,特别是考虑到该地区局势紧张,且斯派塞和国家安全顾问、陆军中将H· R·麦克马斯特(H.R. McMaster)均在公开回应此事。

The miscues began on Sunday, April 9, when the public affairs office of the Navy’s Third Fleet issued a news release saying that Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., the Pacific commander, had ordered the Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered carrier, and its strike force — two destroyers and one cruiser — to leave Singapore and sail to the Western Pacific. As is customary, the Navy did not say exactly where the carrier force was headed or its precise mission.

这起失误始于4月9日周日。当时,海军第三舰队的公共事务办公室发布了一份新闻稿,称太平洋司令部司令小哈里·B·哈里斯(Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr.)已下令尼米兹级核动力航母“卡尔文森号”及其打击力量——两艘驱逐舰和一艘巡洋舰——离开新加坡,前往西太平洋。按照惯例,海军没有具体说这支航母力量的目的地和具体任务。

Given the timing, it hardly needed to: Mr. Trump had just wrapped up a two-day summit with Mr. Xi at his Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, with a message that the United States had run out of patience with North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, and its nuclear and missile programs.

考虑到当时的时机,海军几乎不需要明说:特朗普刚刚结束与习近平在他位于棕榈滩的俱乐部马阿拉歌举行的为期两天的会谈,并传达出了美国对朝鲜的独裁者金正恩(Kim Jong-un)及其核武器和导弹计划的耐心已耗尽的讯息。

That Sunday, General McMaster told Fox News that the deployment was a “prudent” move, designed to give the president “a full range of options to remove” the threat posed by Mr. Kim.


What the Navy did not say was that the Carl Vinson had to carry out another mission before it could set sail north: a long-scheduled joint exercise with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean.


The photo that the Navy posted of the Carl Vinson, bristling with fighter jets as it passed Indonesia, was spotted by Defense News, a trade publication, which broke the news that the ship was thousands of miles away from where the world thought it was.

行业刊物《防务新闻》(Defense News)发现了海军发布的那张停满了战斗机的“卡尔文森号”穿过印尼的照片,并爆出了“卡尔文森号”实际所在的位置,与全世界以为它在的位置相隔数千英里的新闻。