1. IRAN

    U.S. Beefs Up Hormuz Security

    This picture taken 26 December 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC.  The Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DOD), is the world's largest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices.  Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STAFF/AFP/Getty Images)

    AFP-Getty Images

    The U.S. military is taking seriously Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, an important shipping lane through which much of the world's oil resources travel. Pentagon officials notified Congress that they plan to deploy new mine-detection and surveillance equipment in the Persian Gulf. Plans also call for the U.S. Central Command to boost its cruise-missile presence and to modify weapons systems to counteract Iran's fast-attack boats. War planners are taking steps to patch any gaps in defense capabilities in case Iran attempts to shut down the strait.

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