NYT: Secret Gates memo warns that U.S. has no strategy for dealing with a nuclear Iran

posted at 9:13 pm on April 17, 2010 by Allahpundit

A Saturday night bombshell to scramble the scheduled Sunday morning chat show salutes to Obama’s dopey nuclear summit. Read it now so that you’ll have the proper frame of mind when Paul Krugman or whoever starts prattling on about what a big accomplishment it was to get Ukraine to give up their uranium.

Several officials said the highly classified analysis, written in January to President Obama’s national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones, touched off an intense effort inside the Pentagon, the White House and the intelligence agencies to develop new options for Mr. Obama. They include a revised set of military alternatives, still under development, to be considered should diplomacy and sanctions fail to force Iran to change course…

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’s memo appears to reflect concerns in the upper echelons of 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.

Of course they didn’t prepare alternatives. How could they possibly fathom that diplomacy might fail? The core plank of “smart power,” such as it is, has always been the Obama charm offensive. Simply by being the anti-Bush and offering an open hand to Iran, he would convince Tehran to unclench its fist and open a dialogue. Bush was the problem (he always is!) and once the problem was removed, solutions would inevitably follow. So why bother developing a Plan B? The result: Iran’s now enriching uranium to 20 percent purity and rolling out advanced centrifuges, which means nuclear “breakout” capacity, i.e. the ability to build a bomb quickly even if they haven’t yet done so, won’t be long in coming. I can’t believe The One would ever order a strike on Iran — see this Aussie op-ed citing security sources who claim the U.S. has all but given up on stopping them from building a bomb — so Israel’s going to do what it has to do sooner rather than later. In fact, in my darker Machiavellian moments, I wonder if one of the reasons The One has picked a fight with Netanyahu lately is because he knows they’re planning to act and wants to put maximum distance between America and Israel before they do. Iran will blame Washington for ordering the attack anyway, but plausible deniability may limit the extent of the reprisals.

No need to put all the blame on Obama here, though. Bush knew what it would mean to hand this issue off to a Democratic president and he went ahead and did it anyway. Invading Iraq necessarily left him with fewer military options against other threats; now the bill is coming due. As for Europe, Russia, and China, here’s the Times’s almost poignant description of the White House’s naivete: “Administration officials had hoped that the revelation by Mr. Obama in September that Iran was building a new uranium enrichment plant inside a mountain near Qum would galvanize other nations against Iran, but the reaction was muted.” The fact that western powers had been waltzing with Iran over its nuke program for fully seven years at that point might have given them a clue that no action would be taken, but that’s “smart power” for you.

Exit question: Why was this leaked now? The memo was written in January but only today are “government officials” finally whispering about it to the Times. Normally I’d assume that it was leaked by the White House itself in yet another naive attempt to pressure allied powers about the severity of the threat, but the story’s simply too embarrassing to Obama. Presumably the leakers are insiders who are worried that, three months later, we’re still not taking the prospect of an Iranian bomb seriously enough. We will be tomorrow.

Update: One further thought. From time to time, to illustrate how thoroughly U.S. military strategists prepare for all possible contingencies, you’ll hear pundits remark offhandedly that the Pentagon even has war plans against Great Britain or Canada stashed in a drawer somewhere. I used to believe that was basically (if not literally) true, but good luck reconciling it with this story. Again: Iran’s nuclear program was publicly revealed seven years ago. Obama was still years away from running for Senate when the idea of Iranian nuclear weapons popped onto the world’s radar screen. And yet here we are in 2010 racing to come up with options in case Iran … develops nuclear weapons. Simply unbelievable.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Good Lord. Make a comment about Iran’s Rev0luti0nary Guard, and the damn comment gets eaten by the filter.

hillbillyjim on April 18, 2010 at 1:48 AM

The plan has always been to let Israel take out the capability.

But now we are on the enemy list with Israel… how can they be sure we won’t just allow them to be annihilated?

They can’t. Without our back up will Israel do what it must?

The world was having problems before Obama.

But now there is no leadership. Only idiotic college freshmen level foreign policy. A simplistic view of a complicated world filled with complicated relationships, religions, and feuds.

When we put Obama in the whitehouse we let the whole world down.

We were the adults… and we got tired of being unpopular and responsible. We decided to join the children on the playground.

Smart power indeed. Anything but.

petunia on April 18, 2010 at 1:50 AM

Actually, no one has dealt effectively with Iran so I can’t fault Dear Leader for that…other than the nagging feeling that he is actually on their side.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 18, 2010 at 1:52 AM

OxyCon on April 18, 2010 at 1:29 AM

This is very likely WWIII and it won’t be quick. And it may come to our shores this time.

The world is a much smaller place than it used to be.

petunia on April 18, 2010 at 1:54 AM

@CKM: Must agree with Dyer here. There’s nothing in that article that suggests to me that this is anything but typical intellectualizing by Gates plus zombified spinning by somebody. If Gates is musing about the lack of plans to address a “nuclear capable” Iran or an Iran that has nuked up and gifting terrorists, how on earth does that indicate any serious intent to preempt? It’s no different in essence from Hillary’s electioneering promise to “obliterate” Iran if it nuked Israel, except that Gates is presumably skeptical that comments like Hillary’s represented informed calculation (which would probably preclude such grandstanding anyway ).
When a “high administration official” jumps in to jabber about “breakout” time I infer something between well worn talking points and annoyance that the soiled linen is flapping in the breeze .

Seth Halpern on April 18, 2010 at 2:00 AM

Uh…here’s a map for you katy. See if you can locate the thre countries mention and figure out their proximity to each.
And, the blue stuff is water in case you didn’t know.

OxyCon on April 18, 2010 at 1:47 AM

Uh, maybe you should check that “Afghanistan” thingy again. I know exactly where Iraq annd Iran are. Plus all the blue parts.

katy the mean old lady on April 18, 2010 at 2:00 AM

Maybe Allah should pray for our— oh, never mind, ‘there is no God.’ Oh well.

leftnomore on April 18, 2010 at 2:19 AM

When we knew who we were…..

dmann on April 18, 2010 at 2:29 AM

Uh…here’s a map for you katy. See if you can locate the thre countries mention and figure out their proximity to each.
And, the blue stuff is water in case you didn’t know.

OxyCon on April 18, 2010 at 1:47 AM

I have the most beautiful tan from that gorgeous Afghani beach!

katy the mean old lady on April 18, 2010 at 2:33 AM

For any one who thinks that are Army has Iran “surrounded” because we have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, think again.

28 Sep 2009 – - Reuters – How big is Iran’s military?

Iran has over 523,000 personnel in active service. Major General Ataollah Salehi is the armed forces chief. * ARMY: — The army comprises about 350,000 men, including 220,000 conscripts. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, viewed as the most loyal guardian of the ruling system, has another 125,000 men. In 2004 the army was organised in four corps, with four armoured divisions and six infantry divisions. — There are 1,600 tanks including some 100 Zulfiqar locally produced main battle tanks. A large number of Iran’s tanks are elderly British-made Chieftains and U.S.-made M-60s. — Soviet-made T-54 and T-55s, T-59s, T-62s, and T-72s were also part of the inventory, all captured from the Iraqis or acquired from North Korea and China. — A report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies says that some of the tanks’ serviceability may be in doubt. — There are around 640 armoured personnel carriers. There are 8,196 artillery pieces of which 2,010 are towed, and over 310 are self-propelled.

MB4 on April 18, 2010 at 2:43 AM

For anyone who thinks that we have a “strategy” because our Army has Iran “surrounded” because we have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, think again.

How big is Iran’s military?

Iran has over 523,000 personnel in active service. Major General Ataollah Salehi is the armed forces chief. * ARMY: — The army comprises about 350,000 men, including 220,000 conscripts. The Islamic Evolutionaryray [I hate having to use Pig Latin!] Guards Corps, viewed as the most loyal guardian of the ruling system, has another 125,000 men. In 2004 the army was organized in four corps, with four armored divisions and six infantry divisions. — There are 1,600 tanks including some 100 Zulfiqar locally produced main battle tanks. A large number of Iran’s tanks are elderly British-made Chieftains and U.S.-made M-60s. — Soviet-made T-54 and T-55s, T-59s, T-62s, and T-72s were also part of the inventory, all captured from the Iraqis or acquired from North Korea and China. — A report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies says that some of the tanks’ serviceability may be in doubt. — There are around 640 armored personnel carriers. There are 8,196 artillery pieces of which 2,010 are towed, and over 310 are self-propelled.

MB4 on April 18, 2010 at 2:47 AM

Obama was still years away from running for Senate when the idea of Iranian nuclear weapons popped onto the world’s radar screen. And yet here we are in 2010 racing to come up with options in case Iran … develops nuclear weapons. Simply unbelievable.

Call me stupid, but it looked like the plan was to help build friendly neighbors to Iran in Iraq and Afghanistan and then promptly turn the Islamic Republic of Iran into the Sea of Iran if they didn’t give up the nukes.

It obviously didn’t work out that way.

uknowmorethanme on April 18, 2010 at 2:51 AM

Good Lord. Make a comment about Iran’s Rev0luti0nary Guard, and the damn comment gets eaten by the filter.

hillbillyjim on April 18, 2010 at 1:48 AM

It’s a mad house, a mad house!
- Charlton Heston as George Taylor in the 1968 movie, “Planet of the Apes”

MB4 on April 18, 2010 at 2:53 AM

MB4 on April 18, 2010 at 2:47 AM

I would assume the military in Iraq and Afghanistan would be used more for containment instead of invasion. The nuke facilities can be destroyed with an aerial assault.

However the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan would have to be resolved before anything would happen.

uknowmorethanme on April 18, 2010 at 2:55 AM

I have hope that Israel will save us.

Assuming that they still like us.

Or maybe Israel will just accidentally save us while intending to save herself.

SteakRules on April 18, 2010 at 2:56 AM

Call me stupid, but it looked like the plan was to help build friendly neighbors to Iran in Iraq and Afghanistan and then promptly turn the Islamic Republic of Iran into the Sea of Iran if they didn’t give up the nukes.

It obviously didn’t work out that way.

uknowmorethanme on April 18, 2010 at 2:51 AM

Even looks to be going in the opposite direction.

In Afghanistan, We Surge, Yet Iran Wins

In March, Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai visited A-jad [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] in Tehran to make merry for the Nowruz holiday; then, following Karzai’s three-day visit to Beijing, Karzai reciprocated, giving A-jad what the New York Times called “the red-carpet treatment” in Kabul where he “delivered a fiery anti-American speech inside Afghanistan’s presidential palace.” That would be the same presidential palace that is ultimately protected by U.S. troops. With Karzai at his side, A-jad “accused the United States of promoting terrorism.”

Kind of takes the bounce out of the “surge” to have your own puppet pull your strings.
And what did Karzai say back? According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Karzai riffed on brotherly love, praising “Tehran for spending hundreds of millions of dollars in rebuilding roads, providing electricity, education and health care in parts of Afghanistan.”

No mention of Iran’s generous military assistance, including IED assistance, to the Taliban.

And then, of course, there is Iraq -

Back to A-jad’s [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] busy whirl. Even as he was shaking Kabul’s dust from his boots, he was preparing to receive a delegation from Iraq. Seems that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is trying to build a parliamentary bloc large enough to transform his whisker-close, second-place-finish in March elections into ultimate victory — and what better place to do Iraqi political horse-trading than in Iran? Last week, Maliki delegations visited A-jad in Tehran and Moqtada al-Sadr in Qom.

I don’t think Bernie Madoff ever played his investors for bigger suckers than Karzai and Maliki and Ahmadinejad are playing America for.

MB4 on April 18, 2010 at 2:57 AM

Seth Halpern on April 18, 2010 at 2:00 AM

Re-read the portion that deals with the Senior Admin Official being “pressed” for more specificity. It may be that whoever it is was talking through his or her hat, but the article doesn’t imply that said SAO brought up the buzzword to impress the reporter, and those particular statements haven’t been anywhere in evidence up until now, as talking points or as any other points. I’m not saying we should take it as a definitive policy statement, but it’s not the kind of thing they’ve been saying.

CK MacLeod on April 18, 2010 at 2:57 AM

uknowmorethanme on April 18, 2010 at 2:55 AM

Think outside the box…………chaos favors the prepared!

dmann on April 18, 2010 at 3:00 AM

Where have you gone, General George S. Patton?
Americans and Israelis turn their longing eyes to you
(Woo woo woo – woo woo woo)
What’s that you say, Barack Hussein Obama
General ‘Blood and Guts’ and his kind you have driven far away?
(Hey hey hey – hey hey hey)

MB4 on April 18, 2010 at 3:08 AM

Israel has been backed into a corner. She has every right to take preemptive action against a regime led (apparently with Khamenei’s blessing) by a zealot who has stated publicly that he wants to wipe Israel off of the face of the earth.

The Mullahs weren’t sure about Dubya, but they know that Obarmy isn’t going to do squat except maybe give another “important” speech filled with high-flying rhetoric and nothing of substance.

I’m afraid it’s now up the the Israelis to take the required measures to thwart the Persian power play.

hillbillyjim on April 18, 2010 at 3:10 AM

Think outside the box…………chaos favors the prepared!

dmann on April 18, 2010 at 3:00 AM

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 5 star General and 34th President of the United States of America.

MB4 on April 18, 2010 at 3:13 AM

Surrendering an ally is no strategy at all

Barack Obama has come up with an interesting strategy for dealing with the evildoers of the world. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Surrender your friends, if necessary.

He wants to make Israel, our oldest and only reliable friend in the Middle East, the guinea pig to see whether the strategy works. What appeared to be a minor flap between old friends only a fortnight ago now looks like an exploitable opportunity for the man who learned about who’s evil in the world from a crazy Jew-baiting preacher in Chicago.

MB4 on April 18, 2010 at 3:41 AM

See, Obama does have a strategy after all. Golly, you would think that a smart guy like Gates would have figured that out by now.

MB4 on April 18, 2010 at 3:43 AM

Somebody better check the ventilation in the Pentagon.

MB4 on April 18, 2010 at 3:44 AM

It was “leaked” so that Obama could get rid of Gates.

albill on April 18, 2010 at 6:26 AM

Somebody better check the ventilation in the Pentagon.

MB4 on April 18, 2010 at 3:44 AM

That’s not all that needs to be checked MB4…


Michael Yon On General McChrystal: ‘This War Is Above His Head’

[ Via: Facebook ]  
http://www.nationalreview.com/the-feed/3990/michael-yon-general-mcchrystal-war-above-his-head

Life was good before I went to Iraq. But after three friends were killed during the GWOT, and my growing mistrust for the media and for the US Government/Military, I quit traveling the world and went to war. The United States was in peril. I am American. Today, I do not trust McChrystal anymore than some people trust the New York Times, Obama or Bush. If McChrystal could be trusted, I would go back to my better life. McChrystal is a great killer but this war is above his head. He must be watched.

…As most people know…Yon is not a partisan hack….his first concern is the American Soldier and the mission.
…..when you start to lose him…..it is a sign of serious trouble.
….I wonder if the horrendous ROE and idea to negotiate with and incorporate the Taliban is finally being exposed as the recipe for failure it is…..

Baxter Greene on April 18, 2010 at 7:06 AM

That’s not all that needs to be checked MB4…

Baxter Greene on April 18, 2010 at 7:06 AM

Baxter Greene:I found a mother-load of Hopey Articles,
thought you might be interested!!!!

Obama the Unauthorized Biography

http://www.scribd.com/doc/13516100/Barack-Obama-Lectures-on-Constituonal-Law
===================

Obama the Unauthorized Biography

http://www.scribd.com/doc/21458890/Obama-the-Unauthorized-Biography
===========

And 1,467 articles pertaining to everything under the sun,
about Obamam!!:)
======================

http://www.scribd.com/search?cat=redesign&q=Barack+Obama+writings&sa.x=40&sa.y=14

canopfor on April 18, 2010 at 7:32 AM

Crap,Baxter,the first link,is Obamas Exam questions for his students,Constituonal Law 3.

canopfor on April 18, 2010 at 7:36 AM

Obama doesn’t care about national security. National security is just an inconvenient distraction from “real” issues.

BottomLine5 on April 18, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Bombshell. Gates affirms what we already knew.

It’s wake-up call for the Bamster. I find it amusing. Barry should be thanking him.

petefrt on April 18, 2010 at 8:36 AM

In fact, in my darker Machiavellian moments, I wonder if one of the reasons The One has picked a fight with Netanyahu lately is because he knows they’re planning to act and wants to put maximum distance between America and Israel before they do.

I have the same dark Machiavellian moments.

Buy Danish on April 18, 2010 at 8:38 AM

Invading Iraq necessarily left [Bush] with fewer military options against other threats; now the bill is coming due.

I’m not sure I understand this point. It seems to me that by having a foothold in Iraq (and Afghanistan) we are actually in a better position to deal with Iran. We have boots on the ground, equipment, and a facilitated ability to collect intelligence in two countries which border Iran.

Buy Danish on April 18, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Notice that the Code Pink activists were trying to handcuff Rove but largely ignore Axelrd. BTW, why does Stupac (I spell it that way to include pac) seem to have an NFL line around him and Rove runs around with nearly nothing for security?

In order to give me some respect for the peace movement, I really want to see the “no blood for oil” signs the next time gasoline hits $3.75 a gallon. And at service stations.

IlikedAUH2O on April 18, 2010 at 8:55 AM

I had an Army Intelligence guy tell me that there are plans for everything. I can say that there are tactical and logisitcal plans and formulations by our armed services but they should not be confused with high level strategic plans which require some input from policymakers.

This presupposes policymakers with the interest and ability to provide input.

IlikedAUH2O on April 18, 2010 at 9:01 AM

In fact, in my darker Machiavellian moments, I wonder if one of the reasons The One has picked a fight with Netanyahu lately is because he knows they’re planning to act and wants to put maximum distance between America and Israel before they do.

Buy Danish on April 18, 2010 at 8:38 AM

Well, even in my lighter moments, that’s what I’m thinking. In fact, I’ll bet a dollar to a donut on it. The last thing he wants to do is allow us to become sucked into a military defense of Israel. It would distract from far more important work here at home… his takeover of the economy and re-writing the American social contract. If there’s a war in the ME, he’ll manufacture an excuse to stay out of it.

petefrt on April 18, 2010 at 9:02 AM

(Yawn). Sorry for not getting excited but it was over a year ago that Biden made a trip to Israel and told them to prepare for a nuclear Iran wasn’t it?

CC

CapedConservative on April 18, 2010 at 9:07 AM

If there’s a war in the ME, he’ll manufacture an excuse to stay out of it.
petefrt on April 18, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Yes, because smart power is based on a concept of total neutrality which is in turn based on leftist theories of moral equivalencies.

Buy Danish on April 18, 2010 at 9:28 AM

the White House did not have a well-prepared series of alternatives in place in case all the diplomatic steps finally failed.

basic MO of dear leader….they’ll like me so much better than Bush, I’ll have them eating out of my hands…

cmsinaz on April 18, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Sure we do. Obama will stop calling it a “nuclear” threat. It’ll now be called “A potentially explosive situation.”

Obama: talk softly and carry no stick.

drjohn on April 18, 2010 at 10:22 AM

In fact, in my darker Machiavellian moments, I wonder if one of the reasons The One has picked a fight with Netanyahu lately is because he knows they’re planning to act and wants to put maximum distance between America and Israel before they do.

The only statement that gives me hope.

Cindy Munford on April 18, 2010 at 10:23 AM

What’s to complain about, he has a strategy for Mars. That should take care of everything.

jeanie on April 18, 2010 at 10:30 AM

No need to put all the blame on Obama here, though. Bush knew what it would mean to hand this issue off to a Democratic president and he went ahead and did it anyway.

You must mean by this quote that Bush should have taken military action before Obama was inaugurated. Bush had no political capital to start another war. With poll numbers dragging bottom of barrel the country would be in great turmoil. He would be damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. How many allies did he have, Republican or Democrat in Iraq surge? McCain & Lieberman is all that comes to mind.

Herb on April 18, 2010 at 10:39 AM

@CKM: If I say that I’m going to “ensure” that my house won’t be robbed, that could mean stocking up on speed and positioning myself on the roof with a loaded shotgun 24/7, but it could also mean just installing a burglar alarm or joining a neighborhood watch group. The average citizen will typically take steps to “ensure” his or his family’s peace of mind but is unlikely to do literally “whatever it takes” especially if there are tradeoffs involved. Can it be said of this Administration that it is “crazy” enough to accept those potential tradeoffs? Who knows – it could even depend on the ballerina quotient.

Seth Halpern on April 18, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Is there going to be screaming about this leak?

Cindy Munford on April 18, 2010 at 11:06 AM

No need to put all the blame on Obama here, though. Bush knew what it would mean to hand this issue off to a Democratic president and he went ahead and did it anyway. Invading Iraq necessarily left him with fewer military options against other threats; now the bill is coming due.

A couple points of order:

- Putting 180K or so troops into Iraq, which is right next to Iran, actually opened up, at least militarily, options involving little-to-no-notice ground operations.

- It was the fact the Iraq operation was not well-received by the public, and by extension Congress, that politically killed all the pre-emptive military options against Iran to date.

- Don’t overlook the “revised” in the “revised set of military options”. The Bush-era plans likely envisioned having a few hundred thousand troops already in-theater. Not having nearly as many troops present in-theater, especially in Iraq (or Kuwait), necessitates a revision of those plans.

steveegg on April 18, 2010 at 11:17 AM

should diplomacy and sanctions fail to force Iran to change course…

What diplomacy? What sanctions? Nothing thus far.

the White House did not have a well-prepared series of alternatives in place in case all the diplomatic steps finally failed.

Behold, the true Obamateurism of the week.

paul1149 on April 18, 2010 at 11:24 AM

But no one was believing it. I get the impression that you still don’t believe it.

CK MacLeod on April 18, 2010 at 12:12 AM

Correct, I still don’t believe it. The concept striking you differently sounds more specific because there is a proximate decision point to refer to now — “breakout capacity.”

But that doesn’t imply “we really mean it” now. It just means the course of events has given us something more specific to talk about in terms of our process.

Think of it this way. 3 hours, 2 hours, and 1 hour out from the start time of a classical music concert you’re attending, your plan is to “get there on time.”

But 5 minutes before the ushers close the doors, your plan will be put in different terms. “Get in before the doors close!”

That’s what is going on here, in my view. It doesn’t mean anything new about O’s determination. There’s just a proximate hard date on the timeline to refer to now. If you’re a slug, you can slap yourself in the theater lobby and swear you’ll slip into the hall before the doors are closed, and you still won’t, because you suck at managing your time. Recognizing and talking about the next important juncture in a timeline doesn’t mean you’re actually going to do something about it.

J.E. Dyer on April 18, 2010 at 11:30 AM

steveegg – 180K troops in Iraq proved to be insufficient muscle even to control Iraqi territory. Every historical precedent said we needed 350K+.

Where you scrounge up 350K troopers in today’s downsized military is another question.

The Iraq operation was tolerated by the public until it proved that the Rumsfeld DoD had not a clue what it was doing when it came to managing an occupation and the generals were playing the ‘force protection’ hedgehog game.

JEM on April 18, 2010 at 11:33 AM

World must prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapon, says Barack Obama

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/23/barackobama.israelandthepalestinians

Gates Says U.S. Lacks Policy to Curb Iran’s Nuclear Drive

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/world/middleeast/18iran.html

Almost two years later….

drjohn on April 18, 2010 at 11:59 AM

steveegg on April 18, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Exactly. As I noted in my comment, I don’t really understand Allah’s thinking here.

Buy Danish on April 18, 2010 at 12:07 PM

You simply must read this via gatewaypundit

http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/04/obama-dems-make-great-strides-in-achieving-communist-goals-for-america/

If you notice the communist goals vis a vis nuclear armament, there should not be anything unbelievable about the leaked secret memo.

CURRENT COMMUNIST GOALS *

1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

* from 1963

redneck hippie on April 18, 2010 at 12:19 PM

I’m not sure I understand this point. It seems to me that by having a foothold in Iraq (and Afghanistan) we are actually in a better position to deal with Iran. We have boots on the ground, equipment, and a facilitated ability to collect intelligence in two countries which border Iran.

Buy Danish on April 18, 2010 at 8:53 AM

They are staffed and configured for “COIN/Nation Building”. I doubt if the U.S. Army has more than a handful of tanks and howitzers in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. We do have airbases there from which attacks on Iran could be launched until the ordnance ran out, probably in short order, but the muslim world, including Maliki and Karzai, would go bonkers and Hussein, Petraeus and McChrystal wouldn’t want that just to save little ‘ol inconvenient Israel.

MB4 on April 18, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Russia take care of your brat or we will.

johnnyU on April 18, 2010 at 12:54 PM

MB4 on April 18, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Do you really think that Maliki wants a nuclear Iran?

Buy Danish on April 18, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Barack H. Obama- Commander Sapper-in-Chief.

Retreading Chamberlain’s code:

Appease in our Time.

(Which worked so well, previously, that only 57 million died of it.)

In a phrase, The Obama Plan is:

Impotence meets incompetence.

Which will be REMEMBERed IN NOVEMBER.

(Barry the Childish’s only true concern.)

profitsbeard on April 18, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Next week, there will be a speech that the stockpiles we are reducing will be shipped to Iran as a good will gesture.

Laura in Maryland on April 18, 2010 at 4:10 PM

canopfor on April 18, 2010 at 7:32 AM

canopfor on April 18, 2010 at 7:36 AM

Thanks for the links Canopfor!!!

Baxter Greene on April 18, 2010 at 4:24 PM

FNC is reporting that Gates is back-peddling hard now. Sounds like he’s just been Rahmed.

petefrt on April 18, 2010 at 5:13 PM

FNC is reporting that Gates is back-peddling hard now. Sounds like he’s just been Rahmed.

petefrt on April 18, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Yeah, and I just emailed this story to AP and Ed. CNN has it’s own source, and the story reads a lot more reassuring than the NYT story.

Gates spokesman Geoff Morrell declined to confirm the memo, but said in a written statement, “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.”

Weight of Glory on April 18, 2010 at 6:53 PM

In fact, in my darker Machiavellian moments, I wonder if one of the reasons The One has picked a fight with Netanyahu lately is because he knows they’re planning to act and wants to put maximum distance between America and Israel before they do.

Well, that would explain the One’s barely contained rage during Netanyahu’s visit and the halting of the bunker-buster bomb sales. The timing of the nuclear summit that would have put enormous pressure on Israel to curb its use of nuclear weapons also makes more sense in that context, Obama legacy-building exercise though it was.

inmypajamas on April 18, 2010 at 7:19 PM

I haven’t slept a decently since innauguration day. Now that will get worse. Now I sit, and wait for the idiots to come on here, and rationalize, and support Obama as thee smartest president we’ve ever had. C’mon. Go for it. No one will believe you, but give it the ol’ college try, eh?

My God this country chose a man, far beneath Palin in my opinion. She could dance circles around this man in the competence, and smarts departments.

capejasmine on April 18, 2010 at 7:47 PM

When your own guy says you’re clueless well—you’re clueless!

MaiDee on April 18, 2010 at 9:16 PM

There is a strategy Allahpundit! It’s called the the “bend over and kiss you’re butt goodbye” strategy… Which is to say… you want to consider writing your last will and testament to a relative likely to be outside of the blast zone

Razgriez on April 18, 2010 at 10:37 PM

Sec. Gates doesn’t get it. The Obama policy to deal with the Iranian nukes is NOTHING. That’s not the kind of plan they want to put in writing.

Really Right on April 18, 2010 at 11:30 PM

In fact, in my darker Machiavellian moments, I wonder if one of the reasons The One has picked a fight with Netanyahu lately is because he knows they’re planning to act and wants to put maximum distance between America and Israel before they do.

I have the same dark Machiavellian moments.

I don’t think the goal is to put distance between America and Israel. That is a byproduct of the goal which is to force a “settlement” on Israel by brute means, by withholding needed armaments.

If it’s true that BHO diverted the bunker-busters, what that tells me is that he is making delivery conditional on Netanyahu doing whatever BHO wants, with Jerusalem, or the Palestinians, or whatever. If Bibi says no, Israel doesn’t get them. Maybe this was going to be the last shipment of bbers before Israel was planning to attack.

YehuditTX on April 19, 2010 at 1:41 AM

One further thought. From time to time, to illustrate how thoroughly U.S. military strategists prepare for all possible contingencies, you’ll hear pundits remark offhandedly that the Pentagon even has war plans against Great Britain or Canada stashed in a drawer somewhere. I used to believe that was basically (if not literally) true, but good luck reconciling it with this story.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2070/did-the-u-s-plan-an-invasion-of-canada-in-the-1920s

I had an Army Intelligence guy tell me that there are plans for everything. I can say that there are tactical and logisitcal plans and formulations by our armed services but they should not be confused with high level strategic plans which require some input from policymakers.

This presupposes policymakers with the interest and ability to provide input.

IlikedAUH2O on April 18, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Exactly.

Consider this your reconciliation, AP.

Dreadnought on April 19, 2010 at 1:46 AM

The last thing he wants to do is allow us to become sucked into a military defense of Israel. It would distract from far more important work here at home… his takeover of the economy and re-writing the American social contract. If there’s a war in the ME, he’ll manufacture an excuse to stay out of it.

If that were his main concern he would have given Israel the bunkerbusters so Israel could do it herself. I think he has his heart set on solving the Israeli-Palestinian problem. That would be his foreign policy legacy, and “transforming” America to a social-democrat state would be his domestic legacy.

Given his history and academic background and ideology, wouldn’t that be the most important foreign policy accomplishment from his POV? The fact that Iran wants to vaporize Israel is merely the most convenient lever. If Israel gets destroyed in the process, that doesn’t matter because “social justice” in “liberating” the palestinians would be achieved. Isn’t that what most politically active academics consider the most important issue today? Tell me I’m wrong.

YehuditTX on April 19, 2010 at 1:51 AM

I had an Army Intelligence guy tell me that there are plans for everything. I can say that there are tactical and logisitcal plans and formulations by our armed services but they should not be confused with high level strategic plans which require some input from policymakers.

This presupposes policymakers with the interest and ability to provide input.

IlikedAUH2O on April 18, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Making strategic plans without the policymakers input is fairly easy, you make a variety of plans to achieve reasonable strategic objectives, so that when the policymakers want a plan, you have one.

Of course with ObaMoe, unreasonable strategic objectives is probably the way to go.

Slowburn on April 19, 2010 at 3:37 AM

Bush absolutely had plans drawn up.

The treasonous 2007 NIE report on Iran supposedly not making weapons made it impossible for him to act.

I also blame this on the American people for our stupid over reactive tendencies. We voted in a Democrat super majority and America hating President without Bush attacking Iran. What would have happened had he actually gone through with it?

This is in Israel’s hands now and they know it.

scotash on April 19, 2010 at 3:42 AM

We must not forget that there are other than military options.

There are also intelligence options. After all it is always humorous to bl0w up a b0mb factory with its own explo$ives.

Slowburn on April 19, 2010 at 3:42 AM

Eric Holder’s got a “Special Civilian Court” sequestered that will deal with them very sternly! It’s so secretive even Gates hasn’t been informed of it’s existence.
I’m sure the NYT will write an article and expose it for all the People of the United States in the next few days!
AAAAAHAAAHAAAAAHAAAAA…………(snort).
Even Stephen King couldn’t write this stuff!

Cybergeezer on April 19, 2010 at 8:27 AM

Shut off their gasoline supply at Hormuz. End of story.

highninside on April 19, 2010 at 12:56 PM

But eight (8) Senators sure have a plan on how to deal with “U.S. citizen enemy belligerents”. to wit:

John McCain has introduced: The Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010, or S. 3081, the bill authorizes the President to deny a detainee a trial by jury simply by designating that person an “enemy belligerent.”

..

..

The Fifth Amendment:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

They don’t have a plan on Iran, but they sure do have a plan on us U.S. citizens.

Nice.

Mcguyver on April 19, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3