Thursday, April 13, 2006

"Wild Speculation," or Does Bush Want War With Iran?

William Arkin's Early Warning Blog has some strong evidence that despite Bush's denials, charging that the media is simply speculating wildly, in fact, the Pentagon has been preparing quite heavily for war contingencies with Iran. It is clear that Bush must play down any war talk, as he just is not ready politically for a war. More importantly, as I've said before, you cannot, I repeat, CANNOT start a war during an election year. With Republicans possibly losing a good number of seats this November, Bush cannot afford to get Americans even madder at the ruling party. So secretly Bush plans for war, while openly he says "diplomacy is our tool." Diplomacy was not the tool Bush used with Iraq, and will not be the tool he uses with Iran. He wants a legacy of war. He wants to be remembered as a president that did something about it, no matter how horrible the results really are. Bush has shown that he is great at starting wars, but terrible at finishing them. Are we done in Afghanistan? No. Are we done in Iraq? Hardly even close. Why start a third war in Iran? Here's part of what Mr. Arkin is saying:

In addition to the TIRANNT effort and the Marine Corps Karona invasion scenario I discussed yesterday, the military has also completed an analysis of Iran's missile force (the "BMD-I" study), the Defense Intelligence Agency has updated "threat data" for Iranian forces, and Air Force planners have modeled attacks against "real world" Iranian air defenses and targets to establish new metrics. What is more, the United States and Britain have been conducting war games and contingency planning under a Caspian Sea scenario that could also pave the way for northern operations against Iran. After new reports of intensified planning for Iran began to circulate over the weekend, the President dismissed the news as "wild speculation." On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld similarly called media speculation about Iran war planning as "fantasyland." Asked at a Pentagon new conference whether he had in recent days, weeks or month, asked the Joint Staff or CENTCOM to "update, refine, [or] modify the contingencies for possible military options against Iran," Rumsfeld said: "We have I don't know how many various contingency plans in this department. And the last thing I'm going to do is to start telling you or anyone else in the press or the world at what point we refresh a plan or don't refresh a plan, and why. It just isn't useful." I beg to differ, Mr. Secretary. World pressure and American diplomacy would be mightily enhanced if Iran understood that the United States was indeed so serious about it acquiring nuclear weapons it was willing to go to war over it. What is more, the American public needs to know that this is a possibility. Think the U.S. military isn't serious about war with Iran? Since at least 2003, in response to a number of directives from Secretary Rumsfeld and then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers, the military services and Pentagon intelligence agencies have been newly working on a number of "near term" and "near-year" Iranian contingency studies in support of CENTCOM war planning efforts.

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