News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for December 21, 2010:
- Washington Post: The Post‘s neoconservative blogger Jennifer Rubin picks up on a Wall Street Journal story where anonymous U.S. officials comment that the United States may soon abandon engagement with Iran. “Could the Obama administration really be stiffening its spine and responding to the advice of those warning that talks with the Iranian regime are counterproductive?” she asks hopefully. She interviews Foreign Policy Initiative‘s Jamie Fly, who remarks: “I’m skeptical that they will be the ‘crippling’ sanctions we were promised but have yet to see.” Rubin also speaks to an “advisor to a key senator” who says, “My point is just that they are very well-positioned to pursue a very hawkish policy towards Iran now.” Rubin then espouses her own Iran policy: “The real issue is whether the administration will, if needed, employ force to disarm the revolutionary Islamic state.” She is doubtful, but hopes that the next U.S. president will attack Iran.
- Weekly Standard: John Noonan writes that proliferation of military systems in rogue states, particularly missile defense, have left the U.S. incapable of doing things like making bombing runs on Iran. “Take this report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, which claims that Iran has managed to get its hands on advanced integrated air defense systems that can deny Iranian airspace to all but a few U.S. fighters and bombers,” writes Noonan. “CSBA argues that Iran’s acquisition of new air defense systems limits our strike planning options to stealth B-2 bombers, of which the Pentagon can deploy approximately 16.” CSBA is a group with ties to many neoconservatives and their allies. James Woolsey, Devon Gaffney Cross, and Jack Keane all sit on the board of directors, and Eric Edelman is among the fellows at the Center. Noonan concludes his piece: “Sound strategic planning postures the force in such a way that any scenario could be effectively parried. We allow American power to atrophy at our own risk.”