from ap/yahoo: Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with senior U.S. and coalition naval commanders Thursday to plan operations in the Persian Gulf, including the arrival next month of another U.S. aircraft carrier and more Patriot missiles meant in part as a warning to Iran. This tiny state in the northern Gulf is headquarters to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet and Central Command's naval staff.
Gates also flew to nearby Qatar for a private meeting and lunch with that nation's leader, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. Later he was visiting an air base that hosts a high-tech war room that is the nerve center of all U.S. and coalition air operations throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. Under ground rules imposed by U.S. officials, reporters traveling with Gates were prohibited from identifying the base or the country in which it is located.