With news of the arrival of more American combat power to the Persian Gulf today coupled with Iran flexing its own military muscle via missile launches suffice it to say the situation in the gulf is heating up. As we reported last month the US has sent more US Airforce fighter planes to the gulf to include the f-22 and the f-15c. Now word came today that the US had sent additional mine sweepers to the gulf bringing the total to 8. Mine sweepers may not sound like much but in any future conflict with Iran they will be key because one of Iran’s first moves will be to mine the area to prevent oil from getting to market, just as they did in the late 1980’s. Also the US has sent a first of its kind of ship that will act as a floating staging base for all kinds of operations like minesweeping, surveilance, launching spec ops teams and so forth. For its part Iran demonstrated its ability today to use longer range missiles to hit US bases in the region. The question now becomes should we go to war with Iran how effective will missile defense systems be in countering Iranian missiles?