US Navy: Pivot to Asia won't hurt Mideast presence

By the Associated Press | January 10, 2012 | 12:53 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Navy officer says the U.S. will not be "taking its eye off the ball" in the Middle East as it looks to strengthen its military presence in the Asia-Pacific.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert says 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 West Pacific and the Arabian Gulf.

Greenert said: "If you ask me what keeps me awake at night, it's the Strait of Hormuz and business going on in the Arabian Gulf."

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.