April 18, 2010

The leaked Gates memo: We have no plan for dealing with nuclear Iran.

If diplomacy fails...
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.

35 comments:

mesquito said...

Why talk about Iran's nukes when the the real threat to mideast peace is the builiding of homes for Jews in Jerusalem?

Alex said...

*yawn* the typical American doesn't give 2 shits about foreign policy unless it's American boys coming home in body bags from Iraq or Abu Grahib.

Quayle said...

Why was this leaked now?

Because of the infantile and frankly classless behavior of Obama towards his guest Netanyahu, which happened only a few weeks ago.

Any delay since around then must have been at the Times.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Alex you are so,so,young...

roesch-voltaire said...

I think this is more of a foreshadowing of further involvement in the Middle East. As Gen Jones said, “The president has made it clear from the beginning of this administration that we need to be prepared for every possible contingency.." I believe the warning is more for others than for this administration, which has been too willing to continue our war strategy . But of course the problem is that a contingency that includes boots on the ground in yet another country is unlikely--- so hint that more is possible and try to convince the general public to go along with these plans is another possible reading?

George said...

Yes, the real story here is the curious revelation by the heretofore spectacularly incurious (about Obama) NY Times. Who is pulling the strings here? And why?

Almost Ali said...

Obama's rocket science:

Enemy of my enemy: Iran vs. Israel.

Pogo said...

"Why was this leaked now?"

Perhaps some of the rats aboard the S.S. Obama recognized they were taking on water.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama devised America's new nuclear plan back in college [about 25 years ago] when Iran was not pursuing nukes. So this is not his fault Professor. Do you think Obama had a chrystal ball back at Columbia Univ?

Paddy O. said...

We had plans for dealing with a non-nuclear Iran?

Pogo said...

"We have no plan for dealing with nuclear Iran."

Why, just Duck and Cover!

Quayle said...

Maybe Obama is trying to seed his own Tet offensive as a trigger for him to cut and run from Afghanistan.

Pogo said...
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John said...

Quayle said:
Maybe Obama is trying to seed his own Tet offensive"

That would probably be a good outcome. Conkite to the contrary, Tet was a MASSIVE failure for the Viet Cong. It resulted in their total destruction. After Tet, they were never again a force.

The North Vietnamese regular army had to pick up the slack and they could not handle the workload.

When the NV army invaded SV in 1972, they did so with more armor, artillery and troops than the National Socialists used to invade France in 1941.

They too were soundly defeated by the SV Army with US air but not ground support.

So, yes, I think a Tet would be a good thing from the US perspective.

John Henry

John Henry

edutcher said...

Somebody check if there's a billboard with that "Miss Me?" picture of Dubya anywhere around Langley. I think the boys at The Company finally realize who was on their side.

Alex said...

*yawn* the typical American doesn't give 2 shits about foreign policy unless it's American boys coming home in body bags from Iraq or Abu Grahib.

Oh, I dunno. I have a feeling a place like Santa Fe disappearing in a cloud of dust one morning may get their attention.

WV "unsider" Somebody so far on the outside, he's under.

GMay said...

"Conkite to the contrary, Tet was a MASSIVE failure for the Viet Cong. It resulted in their total destruction. After Tet, they were never again a force."

Slight correction: Tet was a tactical failure for NV, but a strategic success. Gen. Giap's well known strategy was to wage war against American public opinion. Ours was simply counterinsurgency. The only purpose of Tet was to give the perception that the NVA was still alive and kicking. It worked like a charm because public support for the war did a nosedive after the 68 Tet offensive.

In that respect, the insurgent operations in Irag and A-stan are simply doing the same thing. They're not trying to defeat us, they're just trying to outlast us and keep some sort of body count in the news. Iran is just using the Saddam Hussein playbook with their nuclear program and it's working like a charm.

Iran will go nuclear because no one really has the political will or capital to stop it.

GMay said...

Damn, I typed "Irag" in that last post...and missed it.

That almost deserves a wv.

Like this one:

wv "urping": to urp. A seemingly random half burp, half hiccup that occurs well after a meal.

David said...

We have a plan.

Let Israel do it.

Then tell the world what schmucks they are.

Ironclad said...

The real problem (unsaid) is that if Iran continues to enrich uranium they will reach a point where they can produce a crude weapon - similar to the "Little Boy" dropped on Hiroshima. That weapon was little more than 2 slugs of Uranium-235 slammed together ~ 130 lbs of material. The technology for producing such a weapon (after you have the fissile material is simple). Shoot the two pieces together in a tube and you have a large bang.

The "weaponized" version of this - a smaller, more efficient version that we keep hearing Iran wants to produce would be delivered on a missile. But the crude one (hand delivered) is the one that no one wants to discuss. Gifting the material to a group that thinks suicide is a ticket to heaven would give an element of plausible deniablity to the regime there.

What I would hope to see is for someone to stand up and say "if a weapon is ever detonated in a city we will determine the source (all reactors produce a unique signature) and we will obliterate the country that supplied the material." "And we will hope that other countries will join us in this pledge".

The only use of nuclear weapons is to deter use of them on yourself, or make sure that no one will attack you for fear you will use them in defense. If the current administration has not figured this one out yet - that sometimes a fist is needed as well as glib words - then expect the worst. (no matter what good intentions the latest love fest in Washington produced).

AllenS said...

What if Iran exploded a nucular device in Yellowstone Park? Would the left accuse Republicans for the damage because they cut off funding to scientists? Yes, yes they would!

eve said...

What, no plan B? How can that be? Every executive has a plan B.

HDHouse said...

If ya'll remember, it was leaked from a CIA source a few weeks ago that Iran could have the bomb in 5 year.

I fail to grasp how so few here understand that foreign policy is often constructed and messages sent from leaks. They are purposeful and get the message across, whatever it may be, in words the others can understand or as part of a context that might not be on our radar but is on someones.

STOP HANGING ON EVERY WORD

Theo Boehm said...
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Michael Hasenstab said...

"We have no plan for dealing with nuclear Iran"

Translation 1: We have no plan to retaliate if Iran nukes Israel.

Translation 2: Good luck, Israel. You're on your own.

Theo Boehm said...
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Joel said...

http://thedeathofcommonsense.latimesmagazine.com/

Only the names have changed.

Theo Boehm said...
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Theo Boehm said...
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Fen said...

if a weapon is ever detonated in a city we will determine the source (all reactors produce a unique signature)

I'm sorry but this simply isn't true. Primitive nukes of the kind Iran would make cannot be traced back to the source with 100% accuracy required to justify a retaliatory strike.

We would get hit and have to take it.

And re the more modern nukes, does anyone really think a proxy attack wont find ways to get around a fingerprint that could be traced back to them? Think outside the box. Boxcutters and airplanes. A faiure of imagination.

Hanging your deteterence level on tracing a nuke back to its source is madness. First, because its reactive, allowing the destruction of at least one of your own cites before you respond and 2) the arrogant assumption that all attacks can be traced back.

John said...

GMay said:

"Slight correction: Tet was a tactical failure for NV, but a strategic success."

I am not even sure it was a tactical failure for the NV. I had said it was a massive failure for the Viet Cong who were supported by the NV but were irregulars. They might have caused some problems for the NV later. So getting rid of them might have been a good tactical and strategic move for the NV.

Your larger point that it was a strategic victory for the NV is correct. But it was only a strategic victory because Walter Cronkite wet his pants and went hiding under the bed.

Had the press recognized it as the tactical loss that it was, it would never have been a strategic victory.

The press has been our enemy for a long, long, time.

John Henry

Robert Cook said...

Despite all the scary propagandizing, we still do not know that Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon. They continue to deny it and no evidence we have found so far proves otherwise.

Even if they eventually do try to develop one...so what? Why should we be more scared of Iran with the bomb than of India or Pakistan...or Israel, whose nuclear program has never been "approved," and was kept secret for many years, (they still have not officially acknowledged their nukes).

Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Israel is not. This gives Iran the legal right to develop nuclear technology to provide for their energy needs, just as our nuclear plants do for us.

Iran has never indicated any hostile intentions toward America, (and has no history of aggression against other nations), and in fact has been subject to belligerent rhetoric from us. And let's not forget the CIA-assisted overthrow in 1952 of Mohammed Mossadegh, Iran's democratically elected Prime Minister, followed by our putting the deposed Shah back in power, whose dictatorship we backed for nearly 30 years.

Let's face it: we are jonesing for a fight against Iran for our own purposes, and if war with Iran happens, we will be the aggressors, as we were in Iraq and Afghanistan. We seem bound for a course of self-destruction and we may not be fortunate enough to avoid it.

Original Mike said...

Big whoop. That's like "leaking" that the sky is blue.

Robert Cook said...

"People thought FDR was a lightweight...."

Ahem...and just who might these "people" be or have been?

Methadras said...

We never had a policy on Iran. GW didn't and Barely doesn't nor will he either. We've known for how long that Iran has been building nuclear capabilities and we've sat by and done nothing. Now all of a sudden it's a crisis? The world has gone mad.

mccullough said...

If Iran gets nuclear bomb capabilities, what does it matter what Obama's plan B is. He would not be re-elected, so any plan would be useless.