On the other hand, these naval maneuvers may be designed to provoke attack so that the US/UK can justify "retaliatory" actions.
Iran is said to be preparing its own major maneuvers to show its ability to defend itself and its nuclear program.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph also reports, "the main naval exercise comes as President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, today to discuss the Iranian crisis.
Many within the Obama administration believe that Israel will launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities before the US presidential elections, an act which would signal the failure of one of Washington's key foreign policy objectives.
Both Downing Street and Washington hope that the show of force will demonstrate to Iran that NATO and the West will not allow President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian leader, to develop a nuclear armory or close Hormuz."
The problem with exercises on this scale is that they are prone to errors, collisions or predictable incidents that could trigger an actual war. The people engineering this may be hoping for just such a confrontation knowin that Western military power is superior.
A massive British presence couldn't have happened without US backing, even as Israel and the US go through the motions of a noisy political spat.
At the same time, the rift between Israel and Washington could be calculated to keep all sides guessing.
Writes Stephen Lendman on OpEdNews: "Much has been made about an Obama/Netanyahu rift. At times, it's hard separating rhetoric from reality. Nonetheless, neither leader, it appears, particularly likes the other. Disagreement between them is palpable. It's over Iranian red lines and deadlines.
Former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said he doesn't believe in "red line policies."
Lendman faults Netanyahu, writing, "He's arrogant, offensive, duplicitous, thuggish, and dangerous. He's an embarrassment to legitimate governance. It's hard imagining why any Israelis put up with him. If ever a bum deserved to be thrown out it's Netanyahu.
One Israeli analyst said he "must set red lines on his malice toward Obama." Israelis and many others are fed up with his bluster. He's gone out of his way to alienate support from his closest ally. An unnamed Israeli official said he caused "profound" damage in relations with Washington."
But what if all of this is for show, a way Israel can appease its hard-line right wing, pacify Republicans and allow Obama to appear reasonable with his core supporters before both countries map out a joint strategy?
They do share a world view however much they may seem to disagree on tactics and timing. Even as Obama and Netanyahu hiss at each other, Israel's Ambassador to the US is doing "damage control" by kissing up to everyone on the hill and having a Rosh Hashonah dinner with Joe Biden. The two countries are still aligned even if their leaders don't seem to be!
Israel is too dependent on US military support to risk turning a long-term ally/cash cow into an enemy.
Obama cannot afford to alienate voters for whom Israel is a key issue.