Pentagon plans floating military base in Mideast
As tensions rise between the U.S. and Iran over its nuclear ambitions, the Pentagon is preparing to bring a decommissioned assault ship back into duty for possible deployment to the Mideast
The plan, first reported in the Washington Post, would create a floating base for commando teams who might deployed against Somali pirates, and other threats. The action is also a possible counter move for Iran's continued threats to shut down a key oil pipeline, the Strait of Hormuz.
The move comes on the same week after a Navy SEAL operation that freed two Western hostages in Somalia. Analysts say such covert operations are representative of the Obama administration's pledge to build a smaller, more agile military force that can carry out surgical counterterrorist strikes to cripple an enemy.
That's a strategy much preferred to the land invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan that have cost so much American blood and treasure over the past decade. The contrast to a full-bore invasion is stark: A small, daring team storms a pirate encampment on a near-moonless night, kills nine kidnappers and whisks the hostages to safety. Source