[Ed. – Calm down. F/A-18s do have a core surveillance mission, if they have the right equipment (called the SHARP imagery package). Which one of the squadrons on Bush assuredly does. The U.S. official may not be talking out of his hindquarters, but the impression he seems to have left needs correction.]
The United States is flying F-18 surveillance missions over Iraq from an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, officials confirm to Fox News, as President Obama weighs options for “increased security assistance” in the country.
The surveillance missions are being launched from the USS George HW Bush. It was already known that the Obama administration had authorized “manned and unmanned” surveillance flights, but F-18’s are not traditional surveillance aircraft — they are traditionally attack aircraft.
“It’s not so much about looking as it is being seen,” a U.S. official told Fox News.
Obama is thought to be leaning away from pursuing airstrikes in Iraq, as the Iraqi government and Shiite militias battle Sunni militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. But, after the president met Wednesday afternoon with top congressional leaders in the Oval Office, the White House confirmed Obama still is weighing military options.