Hawks on Iran

Lobe Log publishes Hawks on Iran every Friday. Our posts highlight militaristic commentary and confrontational policy recommendations about Iran from a variety of sources including news articles, think tanks and pundits.

Wall Street Journal: The hawkish editorial board argues that the best way for the United States to avert what Western defense experts warn will be a disastrous Israeli war on Iran is by reassuring Netanyahu’s government that the US shares its views on Iran. The Journal’s board also criticizes the top US General Martin Dempsey for his recent discouraging statement about an Israeli attack:

The irony for the Administration is that its head-in-the-sand performance is why many Israeli decision-makers believe they had better strike sooner than later. Not only is there waning confidence that Mr. Obama is prepared to take military action on his own, but there’s also a fear that a re-elected President Obama will take a much harsher line on an Israeli attack than he would before the first Tuesday in November.

If Gen. Dempsey or Administration officials really wanted to avert an Israeli strike, they would seek to reassure Jerusalem that the U.S. is under no illusions about the mullahs’ nuclear goals—or about their proximity to achieving them. They’re doing the opposite.

Since coming to office, Obama Administration policy toward Israel has alternated between animus and incompetence. We don’t know what motivated Gen. Dempsey’s outburst, but a President who really had Israel’s back would publicly contradict it.

Tim Pawlenty, Foreign Policy: Romney campaign co-chair Gov. Tim Pawlenty tells reporter Josh Rogin that the time for diplomacy with Iran is nearing its end and the United States should soon “start the clock ticking” as a warning that it can use military force to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon:

Pawlenty endorsed the idea floated by Romney advisor Elliott Abrams last week that now is the time for Congress to pass an authorization of the use of military force against Iran.

“As for me, I thought Elliott had a good idea. I don’t know that it would be dispositive, but it couldn’t hurt and it probably would help,” he said.

In the end, even a military strike might not be effective in eliminating all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, Pawlenty cautioned.

“I don’t think anybody can say with certainty that if there were an attack on Iran it would have precisely predictable outcomes and consequences,” he said. “I think you can increase the likelihood of favorable outcomes, but given the complexity of the situation I don’t think you can give any guarantees.”

Jasmin Ramsey

Jasmin Ramsey is a journalist based in Washington, DC.