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US not preparing to strike Iran
Posted by: McQ on Monday, November 12, 2007

I wonder if this will cool of the cottage industry which has popped up claiming an attack on Iran is imminent:
The Pentagon is not preparing a pre-emptive attack on Iran in spite of an increase in bellicose rhetoric from Washington, according to senior officers.

Admiral William Fallon, head of Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, told the Financial Times that while dealing with Iran was a “challenge”, a strike was not “in the offing”.
Let's go through the logic one more time. We are finally seeing some progress in Iraq. Iraq borders Iran. Iran has been meddling in Iraq. Iraq's PM apparently got some concessions from Iran in a face-to-face meeting a while back and it appears fewer and fewer munitions are finding their way into Iraq. That's one of the reasons fewer US soldiers are dying and it is also one of the reasons the shia militias are less active than previously.

All that adds up to an increasingly positive security situation in Iraq, which is helping create a climate where real infrastructure repair can take place, the economy can begin to function and take off and the space needed for the reconciliation process to occur at a national level has been created.

Why, on God's green earth would you jeopardize all of that to strike Iran at this time?
Adm Fallon did not rule out the possibility of a strike at some point. But his comments served as a shot across the bows of hawks who are arguing for imminent action. They also echoed the views of the senior brass that military action is currently unnecessary, and should only be considered as an absolute last resort.
Hawks? How about all the rumor mongers out there who've been claiming this has been in the offing since last year without ever once presenting any concrete evidence to support their contentions? Increased rhetoric is one thing, but as I've told others, when you see three carrier battle groups in the area at one time, then come talk to me. Until then, it's all innuendo and rumor and none of it makes any logical sense if the administration wants to see success in Iraq as a final outcome (and I'd guess, given the upcoming election, a whole bunch of Republicans want it as well).
 
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Yes, some "Hawks" have stated that we’re going to strike at Iran the near future, etc.

 
Written By: Syloson of Samos
URL: http://ingenuus.blogspot.com/
Some hawks have said we should strike Iran soon ... that’s a big difference. And there have been a multitude of reports by people claiming to be in the know saying the hawks "want" to strike and strike soon. Again, a big difference. Few, if any hawks that I’m aware of however, have said we’re going to strike Iran soon.

In the meantime, there is a daily ration of those on the left who’ve been claiming such an attack is imminent since the beginning of the year (and they now have about as much credibility as Paul Krugman shouting "recession" in a crowded economic forum).

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Yes, that super hawk Oliver Willis has said we’re going to attack Iran soon.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://

Why, on God’s green earth would you jeopardize all of that to strike Iran at this time?
I don’t know, how about because protecting whatever gains have been made in Iraq is less important to our national security than keeping Iran from getting and using nuclear weapons?
... the administration wants to see success in Iraq as a final outcome
That’s the problem, the final outcome we ought to be pursuing is not ’success in Iraq’ per se, but rather making sure nobody in that region poses a threat to our national security. We should focus on eliminating big threats first (such as Iran) followed by lesser threats (such as Iraq in general, the Kurds even less so). Ignoring Iran and the significant threats it poses, in favor of making sure we ’succeed’ in Iraq is, well, I can’t think of any other word to describe it but, stupid.
 
Written By: Steve Sturm
URL: http://
I don’t know, how about because protecting whatever gains have been made in Iraq is less important to our national security than keeping Iran from getting and using nuclear weapons?
And they’ll have them when?
That’s the problem, the final outcome we ought to be pursuing is not ’success in Iraq’ per se, but rather making sure nobody in that region poses a threat to our national security.
The first step in that achieving that outcome would be a stable and free Iraq. The fact that we’re establishing that as a priority doesn’t mean we can’t be addressing the Iranian problem by means other than attacking them, does it?
Ignoring Iran and the significant threats it poses, in favor of making sure we ’succeed’ in Iraq is, well, I can’t think of any other word to describe it but, stupid.
Who is ignoring it? I love this assumption that not attacking them means we’re "ignoring" the problem. It’s a silly argument at best and a stupid one at worst.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I can’t possibly understand why some of us don’t believe the administration’s protests to the contrary. It’s not as if they have a track record or anything.

Rumsfeld: No Plans to Invade Iraq
Bush: ’No war plans on my desk’ for Iraq
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
I can’t possibly understand why some of us don’t believe the administration’s protests to the contrary.
Gee, Oliver, I don’t know.

Consider this;

(1) it hasn’t happened nor are there any indications it will.

(2) you’ve been saying it would for about a year
It’s not as if they have a track record or anything.
You’re not real keen on irony are you?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Given that the media has to some extent learned to pay attention to the movement of US carrier battle groups, I doubt that a US strategic planner concerned with surprise would bother with them. We can launch sorties on Iran from Diego Garcia. Heck, we can probably launch sorties from Germany. Further heck, we can probably launch sorties from North Carolina. Only the more ambitious strike plans I’ve seen would require more than about thirty aircraft, and the ambitious ones were not likely.

Also: we know the military brass aren’t in favor of an attack on Iran. Most of them weren’t so keen on the Iraq invasion, either.

Neither of these pieces of discomfirming evidence are reliable, which is Oliver’s point.

Regardless of whether or not it actually happens, most of the alerts about it stemmed from leaks suggesting that certain people in the government were in favor of making it happen. That’s quite believeable, whether it happens or not.
I don’t think most people were guaranteeing it. They were pointing with alarm to potential indicators to bolster pre-emptive public discouragement of the idea.

It would not be logical to expect every indicator to correctly predict some aggressive act, any more than to expect every spike in terrorism chatter to correctly predict a terrorist act.

So I’m not sure I see what the problem is here.

PS: I doubt that GWB has ruled out a military strike. Barring some unforseen event, the peak time of GWB personally ordering one is in December 2008.
Most people don’t think Iran is going to cross any bright lines before then. Doing it now would only invite more trouble for the remainder of his term for the same benefit.

I don’t know if it will be done. I doubt George W. Bush III knows what he’s going to do, either. So any sense of certainty that he is or is not going to do such a thing seems equally misplaced.


 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
And they’ll have them when?
I don’t know when Iran is going to finish their work, but as with any problem, the sooner it is addressed with real effort (as opposed to the silliness that defines our current Iran policy), the better chance we have of accomplishing our goals and containing the fallout. Why wait until they’re that much closer before we act? Point: had we acted two years ago, they wouldn’t have had two years to reinforce and scatter their facilities.
I love this assumption that not attacking them means we’re "ignoring" the problem. It’s a silly argument at best and a stupid one at worst.
If ’ignore’ is defined as not doing anything that will keep them from getting nukes, then yes, we are ignoring Iran. On the matter of silly and/or stupid arguments, do you want to claim that Bush and Rice aren’t fiddling while Iran burns, that their diplomacy push is amounting to anything worthwhile? Have I missed the ’international community imposing serious sanctions on Iran? No, I didn’t think so.
 
Written By: Steve Sturm
URL: http://
Sure, there are some hawks who want to expand the war into Iran. The presidential candidates who are not "taking it off the table", and the strategy of "keeping all options open" is mere huffing and puffing. Trash talk doesn’t indicate any real intent.

But, as my veteran friend says, when you see the Pentagon parking lot full on a weekend, expect something big.
 
Written By: C. Kelly
URL: http://
I don’t know when Iran is going to finish their work, but as with any problem, the sooner it is addressed with real effort (as opposed to the silliness that defines our current Iran policy), the better chance we have of accomplishing our goals and containing the fallout.
Of course you don’t know when, which makes it foolish to decide it must be now given the points made about Iraq.
If ’ignore’ is defined as not doing anything that will keep them from getting nukes, then yes, we are ignoring Iran.
Well cool, using that definition, then we’re not "ignoring" Iran. What do you suppose the entire sanctions package is for ... seeing how well they perform under pressure?
On the matter of silly and/or stupid arguments, do you want to claim that Bush and Rice aren’t fiddling while Iran burns, that their diplomacy push is amounting to anything worthwhile?
Seems I heard the same arguments when we were talking to NoKo ... aren’t we presently dismantling their reactor?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Given that the media has to some extent learned to pay attention to the movement of US carrier battle groups, I doubt that a US strategic planner concerned with surprise would bother with them. We can launch sorties on Iran from Diego Garcia. Heck, we can probably launch sorties from Germany. Further heck, we can probably launch sorties from North Carolina. Only the more ambitious strike plans I’ve seen would require more than about thirty aircraft, and the ambitious ones were not likely.
Oh yeah, no sweat. We don’t have to take out their air-force or run SEAD missions to take out the air defenses. We can just fly on in from where ever we want. And we certainly wouldn’t have to take out their navy or anti-ship missile batteries so they wouldn’t clog up the straits of Hormuz in retaliation, would we?

Stick to being a gad-fly, drive-by commenter ’nost, because among many things, a tactical planner you ain’t.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
He’s been reading one of the optional plans Carter used for the Tehran raid.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
All depends on the definition of "in the offing". If we want to attack six months from now we need to be planning now.

Anyone want to place a bet on there being no military strikes against Iran in the next 5 years? At Intrade.com 40 will get you 100 that the US or Israel will attack by Dec 08.

It’s also worth noting that while fighting Iran two years ago may have made things worse, it also could have achieved the results we’re seeing now in Iraq much sooner.
 
Written By: abw
URL: http://abw.mee.nu
If we want to attack six months from now we need to be planning now.
Trust me on this ... the plan to do so already exists. That isn’t at all what we’re talking about here.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Few, if any hawks that I’m aware of however, have said we’re going to strike Iran soon.

Does this fit the bill?

Yes, I do believe he will, because he has said many times — or at least two times that I know of in public — that, if we allow Iran to get the bomb, people 50 years from now will look back at us the way we look back at the men who made the Munich pact with Hitler in 1938 and say, "How could they have let this happen?"

In the meantime, there is a daily ration of those on the left who’ve been claiming such an attack is imminent since the beginning of the year (and they now have about as much credibility as Paul Krugman shouting "recession" in a crowded economic forum).

Mostly what I have seen of those concerned about such a possible attack is well concern about a possible attack and not very many claims that things are "immiment."


 
Written By: Syloson of Samos
URL: http://ingenuus.blogspot.com/
Does this fit the bill?
Not as far as I can tell. Seems to me a rational for keeping the possibility of an attack on the table but it certainly doesn’t state or even hint an attack is imminent.
Mostly what I have seen of those concerned about such a possible attack is well concern about a possible attack and not very many claims that things are "immiment."
Well we’ve been reading different sources then. Try reading a few Netroots and "left libertarian" blogs for a change. In fact, you saw one of them beam in here to defend his year long prognostication of imminent attack in this very thread.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McQ,

Stating that "he will" attack speaks of a possibility?

Anyway, I should have included Judy Woodruff’s question:

... do you think that, as you wrote a few months ago, this administration, this president intends before he leaves office to strike Iran?
 
Written By: Syloson of Samos
URL: http://ingenuus.blogspot.com/
Stating that "he will" attack speaks of a possibility?
Preceded by "I believe" is an opinion, not a statement.
... do you think that, as you wrote a few months ago, this administration, this president intends before he leaves office to strike Iran?
Still sounds like an opinion to me. And an opinion from a guy not even in the decision making loop.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
which makes it foolish to decide it must be now given the points made about Iraq.
No, foolish is:

(1) not acting because we don’t know for sure. Are you proposing that we wait until we know for sure that Iran has a bomb before we decide it’s time to take military action? Or do you think the CIA is going to be able to nail down the day at which Iran gets a bomb? It’s because we don’t know for sure that we need to act (before they become an imminent threat).

(2) using a silly analogy such as north korea, when about the only thing the two countries have in common is that the dispute involved nuclear weapons. Is North Korea ruled by a radical Muslim who’s all but sworn to attack his enemies?

(3) having used a silly analogy such as north korea, in thinking that North Korea dismantling their nuclear reactor does much of anything to their nuclear weapons capabilities.

(4) thinking that the ’sanctions package’ will do anything other than waste time while Iran continues their program. There is no way that the likes of Russia or Germany will ever sign on to a sanctions program that was severe enough to have the Mad Mullahs give up their quest... and that presumes there even are sanctions that could be imposed that would accomplish the goal. Declaring the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization is sure to make them quake in their boots and ask for forgiveness.

(5) continuing to think that having US troops stick around and play peacemaker in Iraq represents the best, or even a good, use of our military forces and defense dollars. Note I don’t object to our troops being in Iraq to go after Al Qaeda (tis better to kill them there than let them come after us here at home), it’s having our troops die trying to keep one band of crazy Iraqis from going after another band of Iraqis that I object to.

(6) being so emotionally invested in being able to declare ’victory’ in Iraq that one is blinded to the far worse threats we face elsewhere in the region.
 
Written By: steve sturm
URL: www.thoughtsonline.blogspot.com
McQ,

Preceded by "I believe" is an opinion, not a statement.

Yes, in his opinion he believes that the Bush administration will strike against Iran. Ergo, he believes thats we are going to do.

Note what I originally stated:

Yes, some "Hawks" have stated that we’re going to strike at Iran the near future, etc.

Are we now going to argue over how I’ve only come up with one "Hawk" as opposed to "some?"



 
Written By: Syloson of Samos
URL: http://ingenuus.blogspot.com/
not acting because we don’t know for sure.
Oh, you mean like Iraq and WMDs?
using a silly analogy such as north korea,
They’re always "silly analogies" when they refute your point, aren’t they Steve?
having used a silly analogy such as north korea, in thinking that North Korea dismantling their nuclear reactor does much of anything to their nuclear weapons capabilities.
Heh ... yeah, he’ll produce the stuff out of thin air of course. Why in the world didn’t we think of that too?
continuing to think that having US troops stick around and play peacemaker in Iraq represents the best, or even a good, use of our military forces and defense dollars.
Ah, now we get to the crux of your problem ... things are going well in Iraq right now and you didn’t get to deliver your anticipated "I told you so", huh Steve?

So naturally you’re all for something which might derail that little train, aren’t you?
being so emotionally invested in being able to declare ’victory’ in Iraq that one is blinded to the far worse threats we face elsewhere in the region.
I say we can do both and for some reason you can’t seem to wrap your head around that concept ... that’s not my problem Steve.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Well if we’re going to play the "originally" game -
Note what I originally stated:

Yes, some "Hawks" have stated that we’re going to strike at Iran the near future, etc.
Note what I originally stated:
Few, if any hawks that I’m aware of however, have said we’re going to strike Iran soon.
So I guess he’d fall into the "few" category, wouldn’t he?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
We don’t have to take out their air-force or run SEAD missions to take out the air defenses. We can just fly on in from where ever we want. And we certainly wouldn’t have to take out their navy or anti-ship missile batteries so they wouldn’t clog up the straits of Hormuz in retaliation, would we?

We don’t in fact have to do any of these things. I’ve read detailed open-source analysis discussing likely Israeli strikes on primary Iranian nuclear targets, and none of those things occur.

As the recent Syrian raid amply demonstrated, there’s not an air defense in the middle east we can’t fool without even bothering to strike if, if you’re talking about a few tactical raids.

I mean, why are you pulling this bull*hit on me, Q? You know what the B-2 can do as well as I do, probably better, to say nothing about the F-22. You know darn well we don’t need carriers in the Persian Gulf to hit everything we need to hit in Iran to take out the nuke program with minimal aircraft losses. Just because Pentagon preference is to take out everything with a 1% chance of threatening anything doesn’t mean that Dick Cheney can’t have those plans redrawn.

Ditto the smoke and mirrors about Hormuz. If you want a surprise strike and you’re a Dick Cheney Optimist, you make foolhardy assumptions that Iran won’t retaliate, or you rely on threats of massive escalation to deter, or you just say, heck with it, it’s worth it.

I know you wouldn’t defend the idea that we couldn’t strike Iran without carriers in the Persian Gulf in a professional setting. You just don’t like me as the messenger of it.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
We don’t in fact have to do any of these things. I’ve read detailed open-source analysis discussing likely Israeli strikes on primary Iranian nuclear targets, and none of those things occur.
And if you’ve read anything about what is necessary to deny them a nuclear weapon, a limited strike won’t do it.

So it has to be an extensive strike which not only takes down their nuclear capability completely, but also cripples their military in a way they can’t effectively retaliate. And by retaliate, I’m obviously not talking about launching an attack on the US. Again, the most effective retaliation they could mount would be to close the straits of Hormuz. A "if we can’t have nukes, then you can’t have oil" tit for tat.
As the recent Syrian raid amply demonstrated, there’s not an air defense in the middle east we can’t fool without even bothering to strike if, if you’re talking about a few tactical raids.
But we’re not. And anyone trying to sell you that bill of goods is selling you a bill of goods. Point to the choke point that Syria can effectively target to effect the entire world.

Additionally, Syria was a single target. One. Iran has spread its key nuclear facilities all over the country and to completely cripple it’s ability to make a nuclear weapon would entail hitting up to 90 facilities. That isn’t even comparable to Syria.
I mean, why are you pulling this bull*hit on me, Q?
Because you don’t know what you’re talking about. But you, along with Willis, are who I’m talking about in the post.
You know what the B-2 can do as well as I do, probably better, to say nothing about the F-22.
Yeah, I do. And I also know our doctrine. And we do not send them in without preparing the battle space.
You know darn well we don’t need carriers in the Persian Gulf to hit everything we need to hit in Iran to take out the nuke program with minimal aircraft losses.
You’re wrong. Again, when you strike Iran, it isn’t just Iran proper that is going to be effected. You have the most critical waterway in the world there and it is one of the worlds worst choke points as well. If you don’t take out their Navy and their anti-ship missile capability, the straits of Hormuz will be plugged by a fleet of flaming and sunk oil tankers.

People who know what they’re talking about keep saying that a strike on Iran is a very complex problem and they keep getting nonsense like you’re spouting.
Just because Pentagon preference is to take out everything with a 1% chance of threatening anything doesn’t mean that Dick Cheney can’t have those plans redrawn.
Oh please, that’s just simple nonsense.
Ditto the smoke and mirrors about Hormuz. If you want a surprise strike and you’re a Dick Cheney Optimist, you make foolhardy assumptions that Iran won’t retaliate, or you rely on threats of massive escalation to deter, or you just say, heck with it, it’s worth it.
Oh good grief, I can’t believe I let myself get this far into this reply before understanding you’re so heavily wrapped in the "Dick Cheney runs the world" scenario that reality is lost on you.

My bad.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Again, the most effective retaliation they could mount would be to close the straits of Hormuz.
And how long do you think Iran could successfully pull that off?

 
Written By: abw
URL: http://abw.mee.nu
And how long do you think Iran could successfully pull that off?
If you don’t take out their navy and anti-ship missile batteries, as long as they want. (And how long do you think it would take to completely disrupt the world’s oil supplies?)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
This is an interesting debate, Q. You seem to believe what you’re saying. Look, I appreciate you taking the time to defend your point of view. Really. I still don’t think your portrayal of this deserves the certainty with which you portray it.

So it has to be an extensive strike which not only takes down their nuclear capability completely, but also cripples their military in a way they can’t effectively retaliate. And by retaliate, I’m obviously not talking about launching an attack on the US. Again, the most effective retaliation they could mount would be to close the straits of Hormuz. A "if we can’t have nukes, then you can’t have oil" tit for tat.

Look, what I’m saying is that this is an argument - an opinion - that you strongly hold. But it’s not an empirical reality. It is completely possible to design a strike on Iran’s nuclear program that doesn’t require hitting 90 sites, suppressing the air-defense system, taking out the Iranian air force, or deal with their ability to close the Strait of Hormuz. It seems to me like you’re pretending that such a strike is "impossible" because it would be atypical of US doctrine. First of all, I think that’s a proposition, not a proven statement - but even if it was, so what? Doctrine is doctrine until the day it gets thrown over the side because a policymaker wants results.

Oh good grief, I can’t believe I let myself get this far into this reply before understanding you’re so heavily wrapped in the "Dick Cheney runs the world" scenario that reality is lost on you.

"Dick Cheney" is a name being used here as an example. I’d use "Donald Rumsfeld" as an example, but he’s gone. The point is that I don’t have a bio on all 200,000 people in the Pentagon, White House, and Vice-President’s office, and it takes an unknown number of people with decision-making tendencies equivalent to those of Dick Cheney in order to change around doctrine. Dick Cheney doesn’t control everything in the US government. Happy?

Now, This extremely professional paper thinks that Israel only needs to hit three sites to do considerable damage to Iran’s nuke program. Of course, I agree with you that a limited strike on Iran doesn’t eliminate their ability to continue their nuke program. But nothing short of depopulation or occupation eliminates that ability. Hitting three sites sets them back by amount X. Hitting 90 sites sets them back by larger amount Y. Neither amount is decisive. So there’s no reason why a policymaker feels compelled to go for 90 if they still feel they can do some good by hitting three.

Now, here’s a professional paper making the three sites argument in a lot of detail.
http://web.mit.edu/ssp/Publications/working_papers/wp_06-1.pdf

Probably with my luck, you’ll read this thing, decide I’m right, and become an advocate for a strike on Iran. I don’t know why I’m arguing the feasibility of it at all. I should be happy with you believing it infeasible. I’ll have to count on your innate dislike of changing your mind.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
It is completely possible to design a strike on Iran’s nuclear program that doesn’t require hitting 90 sites, suppressing the air-defense system, taking out the Iranian air force, or deal with their ability to close the Strait of Hormuz.
Good grief, ’nost ... it’s possible to design a strike that will send one cruise missile in to surgically take out Ahmadinejad. That doesn’t mean it is a good idea or makes tactical or strategic sense.

We’re going to get one shot at taking out their nuclear capability. That means we better take it all out. And taking it all out means there will be repercussions. The best and only way to avoid the full repercussions Iran could deal out is to do what I’ve outlined.

I mean taking out a few dozen oil tankers in the straits of Hormuz would be child’s play for their navy and anti-ship missiles. So obviously it makes strategic sense to take that capability out as well.
It seems to me like you’re pretending that such a strike is "impossible" because it would be atypical of US doctrine.
I’m not saying its impossible, I’m saying it would be stupid in a strategic sense for the reasons I’ve outlined. What, do you think Iran is just going to lay back and take it and say "oh, well, we tried"?
First of all, I think that’s a proposition, not a proven statement - but even if it was, so what? Doctrine is doctrine until the day it gets thrown over the side because a policymaker wants results.
No, ’nost, it’s not. Doctrine is how we fight. And we fight according to doctrine because it works. We don’t throw doctrine over the side because some policy maker who wouldn’t know a Abrams from a C17 decides he wants to do something stupid. We’d simply plan to fight our doctrine with the policy maker’s end-result included.

They designate their desire, we plan it according to our doctrine.
This extremely professional paper thinks that Israel only needs to hit three sites to do considerable damage to Iran’s nuke program.
And how does this "extremely professional paper" say Iran will react?

Not a word. Not a single, solitary word.

Additionally, your "extremely professional paper" completely misses this anti-aircraft system. Any guess where it will be installed?
So there’s no reason why a policymaker feels compelled to go for 90 if they still feel they can do some good by hitting three.
So you somehow believe that reconstituting 90 sites and all the equipment they contain wouldn’t be any more effective in delaying their nuclear program than hitting 3? Wow. Just wow.
Probably with my luck, you’ll read this thing, decide I’m right, and become an advocate for a strike on Iran.
I’ve never said it wasn’t an option, but I am certainly not an advocate for doing so now and certainly not with that so-called "plan".

I’ve been saying, however, that when and if it becomes an imminent option, we’ll do it according to doctrine with an eye on also preventing Iran from retaliating in a way that will effect worldwide oil shipments.

To do any less would simply be stupid.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
wouldn’t be any more effective in delaying their nuclear program than hitting 3?

Reading comprehension.


I agree with you that a limited strike on Iran doesn’t eliminate their ability to continue their nuke program. But nothing short of depopulation or occupation eliminates that ability. Hitting three sites sets them back by amount X. Hitting 90 sites sets them back by larger amount Y. Neither amount is decisive.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Reading comprehension?

Are you or are you not the guy pushing the "extremely professional paper" which targets 3 sites and claiming that’s the way to go (oh, and let’s not forget the "let’s get the Israelis to do it" part as well)?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
things are going well in Iraq right now and you didn’t get to deliver your anticipated "I told you so", huh Steve?
A bit of a cheap shot, as well as misleading, McQ. I never said that things wouldn’t go well militarily. I have lots of faith that our military can do a real good job of killing terrorists.

But how well are things politically? There’s no sign that the Iraqis have their act together to the point where we can leave. They can’t protect themselves against outside threats, and there are no indications that they’re not going to go right back to killing one another once we pull our forces down.

So unless you’re moving the goalposts, things ain’t so great there. The goal of the surge was not merely to kill terrorists but to create an environment where the Iraqis could get their act together*. Well, they’ve been given a lot of breathing room and what have they done with it? Not much.

So celebrate that our military has kicked some serious butt. But don’t get your hopes up they’re coming home (and not just some units here and there) anytime soon.

* I freely admit that if it were up to me the only thing our forces would be concentrating on is killing terrorists, I wouldn’t have a single US soldier risk their lives to keep the Iraqis from killing one another.
 
Written By: steve sturm
URL: www.thoughtsonline.blogspot.com
A bit of a cheap shot, as well as misleading, McQ. I never said that things wouldn’t go well militarily. I have lots of faith that our military can do a real good job of killing terrorists.
Nonsense, Steve. The discussion was about the surge and the fact that I wanted until late summer. It had nothing to do with the politics of the thing.
But how well are things politically? There’s no sign that the Iraqis have their act together to the point where we can leave. They can’t protect themselves against outside threats, and there are no indications that they’re not going to go right back to killing one another once we pull our forces down.
Obviously they’re going better and we’ll see if they go right back to killing one another ... but if you expect me to take your opinion as gospel I’ll remind you of your surge expectations again.
So unless you’re moving the goalposts, things ain’t so great there.
Heh ... nice try Steve ... the only one in the goal post moving business here is you.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

 
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