Somebody at the Pentagon was thinking way outside the box on this one.

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