Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Top Pentagon Brass reluctant to wage war on Iran

Top Pentagon Brass reluctant to wage war on Iran


by Michel Chossudovsky

While US attack plans against Iran are in an advanced state of readiness, there are growing divisions between the military and the White House regarding these attacks.

"U.S. defense officials have signaled that up-to-date attack plans are available if needed in the escalating crisis over Iran's nuclear aims, although no strike appears imminent .... Among the possible targets, in addition to nuclear installations like the centrifuge plant at Natanz [are] Iran's ballistic missile sites, Republican Guard bases, and naval warfare assets that Tehran could use in a retaliatory closure of the Straits of Hormuz, a vital artery for the flow of Gulf oil." (AP, November 8, 2007)

These ongoing war preparations are consistent with official statements and political threats directed against Iran by the US president and vice president. On October 12, President Bush dropped a bombshell by intimating that the confrontation with Iran could lead to a "World War III". In a recent TV interview Bush clarified that the reason he mentioned World War III was "because this is a country [Iran] that has defied the IAEA.." This statement is a barefaced lie by the US head of State. The IAEA confirmed in an August report the civilian nature of Iran's nuclear program.

Vice President Dick Cheney stated on Oct. 21 that Iran would face "serious consequences" if it did not conform to US demands regarding its nuclear program. Cheney is still committed to triggering a pretext, including a "Second 911" or a "catatrophic emergency" in the US, which would provide a justification for waging war on Iran.

Meanwhile, presidential candidates Republican Rudi Giuliani and Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton have tacitly endorsed the administration's stance on Iran.

US Military's "Ability to Fight Wars"

These aggressive White House statements are in contrast with those emanating from the US military.

The new chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, who took office in early October, while broadly supportive of the White House, has acknowledged US military weaknesses. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan "may have undermined the military's ability to fight wars against major adversaries - including Iran." ( quoted in Haaretz, October 22, 2007).

"...the risks could be very, very high.... We're in a conflict in two countries out there right now... We have to be incredibly thoughtful about the potential of in fact getting into a conflict with a third country in that part of the world."

In an interview with the New York Times, Mullen stated :

“We have to be incredibly thoughtful about ... getting into a conflict with a third country [Iran] in that part of the world.”

Mullen's hesitations to wage war on Iran are not based on a divergent political stance but on a realistic assessment of US military capabilities. Admiral Mullen recognizes that the US military is overstretched and that in relation to Iraq, the US military is facing serious problems in military recruitment.

Moreover, tacitly acknowledged by the Pentagon, US and coalition forces are facing fierce resistance in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Adm. William Fallon, Commander of US Central Command (USCENTCOM) and a staunch supporter of Bush-Cheney war plans, has also played down the possibility of a war with Iran. “We are not going to do Iran on my watch.” Fallon is acutely aware of Iran's ability to retaliate militarily and inflict significant losses to US and coalition forces.

On the Diplomatic Front

Meanwhile, the White House is pressuring Germany and France to impose tough economic sanctions on Iran.

President Sarkozy expressed his unbending support of the US president in his speech to the US Congress. Bush and Sarkozy presented at a November 7 Press Conference, in what was described by political analysts as a "joint front" calling for the imposition of tough economic sanctions against Iran.

On Saturday November 10, German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived at Bush's Texas ranch for talks with president Bush. Merkel stated that : "if Iran does not give way, [Germany] is prepared for further and tougher sanctions."

What is now emerging are efforts on the part of Washington to isolate Iran. Through ongoing negotiations with Germany and France, Washington is pushing for the imposition of an economic sanctions regime (under European Union auspices) directed against Tehran. What is at stake are European business interests, including EU oil companies, in Iran. Vice President Cheney has threatened European multinationals in a November 8 statement, that if they remain in Iran they will have trouble doing business in the US. (Guardian, November 9, 2007)

*************

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

To become a Member of Global Research

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author's copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com

© Copyright Michel Chossudovsky, GlobalResearch.ca, 2007

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Keith Rankin: Basic Universal Income And Economic Rights
"Broad growth is only going to come when you put money in the hands of people, and that's why we talk about a Universal Basic Income". [Ritu Dewan, Indian Society of Labour Economics]. (From How long before India's economy recovers, 'Context India', Al Jazeera, 31 Oct 2021.) India may be to the 'Revolution of the twenty-first century' that Russia was to the 'Revolution of the twentieth century'... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Foreseeable Risk: Omicron Makes Its Viral Debut
It has been written about more times than any care to remember. Pliny the Elder, that old cheek, told us that Africa always tended to bring forth something new: Semper aliquid novi Africam adferre. The suggestion was directed to hybrid animals, but in the weird pandemic wonderland that is COVID-19, all continents now find themselves bringing forth their types, making their contributions. It just so happens that it’s southern Africa’s turn... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Totalitarian Cyber-Creep: Mark Zuckerberg In The Metaverse

Never leave matters of maturity to the Peter Panners of Silicon Valley. At their most benign, they are easily dismissed as potty and keyboard mad. At their worst, their fantasies assume the noxious, demonic forms that reduce all users of their technology to units of information and flashes of data... More>>




Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>

Globetrotter: Why Julian Assange’s Inhumane Prosecution Imperils Justice For Us All

When I first saw Julian Assange in Belmarsh prison, in 2019, shortly after he had been dragged from his refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy, he said, “I think I am losing my mind.”
He was gaunt and emaciated, his eyes hollow and the thinness of his arms was emphasized by a yellow identifying cloth tied around his left arm... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Labour's High Water Mark
If I were still a member of the Labour Party I would be feeling a little concerned after this week’s Colmar Brunton public opinion poll. Not because the poll suggested Labour is going to lose office any time soon – it did not – nor because it showed other parties doing better – they are not... More>>