Accelerated Roadmap to War

by Jim Lobe

The Bipartisan Policy Center, which last year published a detailed report on Iran policy that I called a “roadmap to war”, is coming out with an updated version next week, according to an op-ed co-authored by task force members Dan Coats, Chuck Robb, and Air Force Gen. Chuck Wald (ret.) and published this evening by the Wall Street Journal.

The op-ed, presumably like the new report, is calling for Obama to begin military preparations for an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites at the same time that he pushes for international economic sanctions against Tehran.

“We believe only a credible U.S. military threat can make possible a peaceful solution.

“By showing that he has not taken the military option off the table, Mr. Obama may also be able to convince Israel to forgo a unilateral military strike while forcing Tehran to recognize the costs of its nuclear defiance. Furthermore, making preparations now will enable the president, should all other measures fail to bring Tehran to the negotiating table, to use military force to retard Iran’s nuclear program. We do not downplay the risks of this option and recognize its complications, but we do believe it to be a feasible option of last resort.”

Wald, a four-star Air Force General, published another op-ed in the Journal entitled “There Is A Military Option on Iran” just a month ago. As noted by my colleague, Eli Clifton, he was one of the invitees to a secret strategy meeting on Iran in the Bahamas convened by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy (FDD) two years ago.

The principal author of last year’s BPC report was Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) with help from the BPC’s National Security Initiative director and Office of Special Plans (OSP) alumnus Michael Makovsky (brother of David). As the report has not yet been officially released, it remains to be seen who gets the credit for the latest incarnation. How sympathetic Dennis Ross, who signed on to last year’s report, may be to this “new strategy,” as the op-ed’s co-authors refer to it, is unknown.

The BPC’s founders, incidentally, include former Sens. Howard Baker and Robert Dole on the Republican side and Tom Daschle and (remarkably) George Mitchell on the Democratic side. The former three remain on the Center’s Board of Advisers. How any of them feel about the thrust of this report — and its implicit advocacy of unilateral U.S. military action against Iran — is also unknown. Robb and Wald are on the Center’s board of directors, along with about a dozen other worthies, including former Sen. John Danforth and former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine.

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.



  1. How do one or two or twenty Iranian nukes threaten the US, which has enough weaponry to destroy the world? Why does no American of influence ever point this out?

  2. Why should America fight (another) war for Israel? Iran is not and never will be any threat to America.

  3. Will these hawks ever realize that aggressive and confrontational policies in fact decrease the security of Israel and the U.S. and increase the probability of retaliatory actions?

    Einstein wisely stated, â??The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”

    As for the revisitation of the strategy of using false allegations of weapons of mass destruction programs to justify military aggression, even Bush would say, â??fool me once, shame on_____ shame on you. Fool me ___ I can’t get fooled again. â??

  4. The logic behind these thinkers is that the US should do for Israel whatever Israel threatens to do whether or not it can do it. Thus, America incurs all the costs and Israel all the benefits cost free. In Washington no one speaks for Americans.

  5. Yes, Iran will never be a threat to the U.S. Nor is it a threat to Israel, which can single-handedly obliterate a huge chunk of the Middle East, including itself, with its own nuclear weapons of mass-destruction.

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