Barry Eisler

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Generals' Revolt?

Interesting article from the Sunday Times: US Generals Will Quit if Bush Orders Iran Attack.

Money quote:

The threat of a wave of resignations coincided with a warning by Vice-President Dick Cheney that all options, including military action, remained on the table. He was responding to a comment by Tony Blair that it would not “be right to take military action against Iran”.

Earlier this month, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Peter Pace publicly distanced himself from administration claims that Iran's leadership was responsible for supplying our enemies in Iraq with especially deadly bombs called EFPs -- Explosively Formed Penetrators. Now there's talk of resignations. It seems clear that various people in the know, all the way up General Pace, suspect the administration is planning to attack Iran and are maneuvering to ensure they're not part of the propaganda leading up to it.

I see two possibilities: first, the administration really is trying to lay the political groundwork for an attack on Iran, and the leaks and other public counters are intended as impediments. Second, the administration isn't planning to attack Iran, but is trying to strike fear into the mullahs to gain diplomatic concessions, both nuclear and with regard to stabilizing Iraq.

My guess is, the administration is planning for both. The thinking is: "We'll play chicken with Iran. If the mullahs swerve out of the way, we win. If they don't, we collide, and that's fine, too. We win either way."

Here's another interesting quote from the article:

"Army chiefs fear an attack on Iran would backfire on American troops in Iraq..."

It's long been my sense that the country we most wanted to shock and awe by going to war with Iraq was Iran. Ironic, then, that our troops there have become hostages to a potential Iranian response. Neocons, take note: it seems that one of the opportunity costs of war in Iraq is our ability to wage another war in Iran.
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6 Comments:

Anonymous Sean said...

As a former member of the military with leadership experience, I can say with utmost honesty it's bad when the top brass of the military defers the president this way. Officers are forbidden, by regulation, from speaking badly about the president, specifically anything critical, but that mostly applies to lower ranking officers, not generals. So this is indeed interesting.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 2:41:00 PM  
Anonymous jh from toledo said...

Barry wrote "Neocons, take note: it seems that one of the opportunity costs of war in Iraq is our ability to wage another war in Iran."

Haven't we always know this, that with the size of our armed forces we can only wage one good war at a time?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 3:25:00 PM  
Blogger JD Rhoades said...

Haven't we always know this, that with the size of our armed forces we can only wage one good war at a time?

Actually, for years, our doctrine was we had to be ready to fight two wars at once. Rumsfeld explicitly repudiated that doctrine--then had us fight two wars at once.

Thursday, March 01, 2007 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Bryan D. Catherman said...

One war, okay. Two, that's looking rough at the moment. But three? Come on.

Thursday, March 01, 2007 1:52:00 PM  
Blogger René O'Deay said...

I found this interesting opinion piece and thought of you, Barry.

Why America Won't Invade Iran

Saturday, March 03, 2007 1:22:00 AM  
Blogger Lee Morrison said...

As always, Barry, your blog is fascinating.

My oldest son is leaving college and joining the Air Force. He leaves for basic training in May. With the war/wars morphing in the current direction, I'm more frightened than ever.

People tell me he will be safer in the Air Force. I suppose that should make a mother feel better, but I don't trust a thing in the military these days, and I'm certainly not taking anything for granted.

I keep hoping the insanity will stop, but it just keeps getting worse.

I also believe our "Decision Maker" might have some control issues that are clouding his thinking.

Lee

Monday, March 12, 2007 6:29:00 AM  

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