The Pentagon is
beefing up U.S. sea- and land-based defenses in the Persian Gulf to
counter any attempt by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz, according to a
Fox News report.
The U.S. military has notified Congress of plans
to preposition new mine-detection and clearing equipment and expand
surveillance capabilities in and around the strait, according to defense
officials briefed on the requests, including one submitted earlier this
The military also wants to quickly modify weapons systems
on ships so they could be used against Iranian fast-attack boats, as well
as shore-launched cruise missiles, the defense officials said.
readiness push is spearheaded by the military's Central Command, which
oversees U.S. forces in the Gulf region, these officials said. It shows
the extent to which war planners are taking tangible steps to prepare for
a possible conflict with Iran, even as top White House and defense leaders
try to tamp down talk of war and emphasize other options.
to the Fox News report, the changes put a spotlight on what officials have
singled out as potential U.S. shortcomings in the event of conflict with
Iran. The head of Central Command, Marine Gen. James Mattis, asked for the
equipment upgrades after reviews by war planners last spring and fall
exposed "gaps" in U.S. defense capabilities and military preparedness
should Tehran close the Strait of Hormuz, officials said.
Central Command reviews, in particular, have fueled concerns about the
U.S. military's ability to respond swiftly should Iran mine the strait,
through which nearly 20% of the world's traded oil passes.
the enemy shows more signs of capability, we ask what we can do to
checkmate it," a U.S. military officer said. "They ought to know we take
steps to make sure we are ready."