- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. Navy officer on Tuesday said the United States will not be “taking its eye off the ball” in the Middle East as it looks to strengthen its military presence in the Asian Pacific.

Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, chief of naval operations, said he doesn’t foresee a shift in naval forces from the Middle East. He said the vast majority of America’s 100 forward-deployed ships currently operate in the western Pacific and the Arabian Gulf.

“If you ask me what keeps me awake at night, it’s the Strait of Hormuz and business going on in the Arabian Gulf,” Adm Greenert said.

Iran last week warned American vessels against entering the strait after the U.S. tightened sanctions over Iran’s disputed nuclear program. The strait carries to market much of the oil pumped in the Middle East.