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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Like a deer in the headlights

The New York Times thought the news was important enough that they released it as an alert around 3:00 am Israel time Saturday night. The Times reported that Defense Secretary Robert Gates sent a 3-page memo to President Obama in January, warning him that the United States "does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability" (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
But in his memo, Mr. Gates wrote of a variety of concerns, including the absence of an effective strategy should Iran choose the course that many government and outside analysts consider likely: Iran could assemble all the major parts it needs for a nuclear weapon — fuel, designs and detonators — but stop just short of assembling a fully operational weapon.

In that case, Iran could remain a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty while becoming what strategists call a “virtual” nuclear weapons state.

According to several officials, the memorandum also calls for new thinking about how the United States might contain Iran’s power if it decided to produce a weapon, and how to deal with the possibility that fuel or weapons could be obtained by one of the terrorist groups Iran has supported, which officials said they considered to be a less-likely possibility.

Mr. Gates has never mentioned the memo in public. His spokesman, Geoff Morrell, declined to comment on specifics in the document, but issued a statement on Saturday saying, “The secretary believes the president and his national security team have spent an extraordinary amount of time and effort considering and preparing for the full range of contingencies with respect to Iran.”

Pressed on the administration’s ambiguous phrases until now about how close the United States was willing to allow Iran’s program to proceed, a senior administration official described last week in somewhat clearer terms that there was a line Iran would not be permitted to cross.

The official said that the United States would ensure that Iran would not “acquire a nuclear capability,” a step Tehran could get to well before it developed a sophisticated weapon. “That includes the ability to have a breakout,” he said, using the term nuclear specialists apply to a country that suddenly renounces the nonproliferation treaty and uses its technology to build a small arsenal.


Mr. Gates has alluded to his concern that intelligence agencies might miss signals that Iran was taking the final steps toward producing a weapon. Last Sunday on the NBC News program “Meet the Press,” he said: “If their policy is to go to the threshold but not assemble a nuclear weapon, how do you tell that they have not assembled? I don’t actually know how you would verify that.” But he cautioned that Iran had run into production difficulties, and he said, “It’s going slow — slower than they anticipated, but they are moving in that direction.”


Mr. Gates’s memo appears to reflect concerns in the Pentagon and the military that the White House did not have a well prepared series of alternatives in place in case all the diplomatic steps finally failed. Separately, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote a “chairman’s guidance” to his staff in December conveying a sense of urgency about contingency planning. He cautioned that a military attack would have “limited results,” but he did not convey any warnings about policy shortcomings.

“Should the president call for military options, we must have them ready,” the admiral wrote.
So the President's advisers have told him that containment is not an option and that if Iran is not stopped, there will be consequences that will go beyond Israel's destruction and Iranian dominance of the Middle East. That explains Obama's panic in pushing the deadline for sanctions from January to February to April to June. That's why I put the picture I did at the top and named this post as I did. It explains Obama's behavior. He's been walking around like a deer in the headlights. He can't bear the thought that he might have to use force to prevent Iran from becoming a superpower.

What could go wrong?


At 4:36 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

he might have to use force to prevent Iran from becoming a superpower.

use force on the orders of his Saudi masters only

At 10:39 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Obama will never use force against Iran.

Its up to Israel to save itself and the West.

At 4:22 AM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

The obamanation cant do a thing: he has downgraded the USA from world superpower to third world wannabee and as such, what he wants is now an irrelevance!


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