It was Henry Kissinger's fear that Indira Gandhi will turn on West Pakistan after taking East that led to deployment of the US Navy’s largest aircraft carrier in the Bay of Bengal.
A week after hostilities broke out on the western front with Pakistan on this day in 1971, Indian forces were quickly closing in on Dhaka. With the Pakistani war machine in the east damaged and out of action by now, the only resistance to the Indian forces moving towards Dhaka was coming from the many rivers in East Pakistan, which made the terrain very difficult to operate through and unsuitable for manoeuvre.
As Indian forces marched forward, anxiety grew in Washington. Fearing that Indira Gandhi will turn on West Pakistan after taking East, and unwilling to be seen as letting an ally be defeated by Soviet-backed India, then US Secretary Of State Henry Kissinger made a case for US intervention in the conflict.
As Admiral Elmo Zumwalt writes in his memoir On Watch, a Presidential order on 10 December created Task Group 74, which was to be deployed in the Bay of Bengal.