It has been reported in Newsweek recently that defense secretary Robert Gates instructed his commanders to keep cool heads, and particularly in matters that might expand our Middle-East conflict into Iran.
When I today read that five Iranian speedboats threatened 3 US warships in the Straight of Hormuz, but were not fired upon, I recalled the Newsweek story.
Given the U.S.S. Cole catastrophe who could blame the US contingent for firing on the speedboats?
I expect it isn't easy to stand down when you've got superior force and think this speaks very highly of the officers involved. With Iraq still volatile and our forces still extended it would be to our enemies advantage to widen the conflict.