编辑:给力英语新闻 更新:2017年4月20日 作者:纽约时报(By MARK LANDLER and ERIC SCHMITT)
海军发布了一张照片，显示“卡尔文森号”周六航行在印尼海岸附近的巽他海峡。The Navy posted a photo of the U.S.S. Carl Vinson sailing Saturday in the Sunda Strait off the coast of Indonesia, thousands of miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula.
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。
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。
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。
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.