American policy in the Arabian Gulf is seemingly being conducted on two separate levels. Militarily, U.S. Air, Naval and Marine assets have deployed to the region with great fanfare, to defend shipping harassed by Iran and deter further aggression. Politically, there are persistent reports of a deal being negotiated between Washington and Tehran to contain the Islamic Republic’s Nuclear quest. Do these two trends contradict or complement each other? Who will cross the finish line first, defense or diplomacy?