From Paisley Dodds, the AP:  The U.S. Ambassador to NATO said Monday one of the key goals of an upcoming summit is to ensure the alliance is prepared for new threats – comments that came as Iran threatened to shut the Strait of Hormuz in response to an EU oil blockage.

United States, British and French ships were recently spotted on the strait where a fifth of the world’s crude oil is transported, but Ambassador Ivo Daalder said Monday it was not a NATO flotilla. . . .

President Barack Obama is hosting the NATO summit in his hometown of Chicago in May. NATO leaders will look at military strategy throughout 2014, funding issues and how to boost the alliance’s capability – both in intelligence gathering and through its missile defense system.

Daalder stressed Monday that a plan to place missile interceptors in Europe was designed to protect against threats from the Middle East – not Russia. Russia has threatened to pull out of a treaty designed to reduce nuclear weapons arsenals if NATO moves forward with the plan.

"We would like to do this in cooperation with Russia, but we will do it even if we can’t find a way to cooperate," he said.

He also said NATO was seeking ways to boost its intelligence and surveillance power – weaknesses exposed during the Libya air operation.