The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, told reporters in London that attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities would not stop their program and would do more harm than good.
An Israeli attack on Iran would delay but probably not stop its nuclear programme, the most senior US military officer has claimed. General Martin Dempsey reinforced Washington’s opposition to unilateral Israelmilitary action as he made clear that US military chiefs were equally wary of getting ensnared in Syria.
In common with Nato’s supreme commander, US admiral James Stavridis, who wrote about Afghanistan for the Guardian on Thursday, Dempsey put a brave face on the situation there. The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff was speaking to journalists in London, where he attended the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games as head of the US delegation.
Distancing himself from any Israeli plan to bomb Iran, Dempsey said such an attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear programme”.
He added: “I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.”
Dempsey said he did not know Iran’s nuclear intentions, as intelligence did not reveal intentions. What was clear, he said, was that the “international coalition” applying pressure on Iran “could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely”. Sanctions against Iran were having an effect, and they should be given a reasonable opportunity to succeed.
An attack on Iran would be a disaster for the region, Israel and the world economy. Of course John Bolton and Joe Lieberman were quick to criticize Dempsey but neither one of them has ever seen a war they didn’t like and they don’t really have a great track record – think WMD in Iraq.
Do we really want to back or assist in an Israeli attack when the majority of Israeli defense chiefs are reportedly against it? If the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs states that sanctions against Iran are working, why would anyone want to attack first and ask questions later? Are these calls for attacks in Israel and the United States politically motivated and out of touch with the intelligence and military realities? When United States Senator Joseph Lieberman and former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton make claims that it is necessary to attack Iran, should we believe them, or the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the former head of the Mossad?
How accurate was the track record of hawks like Senator Lieberman and Ambassador Bolton prior to attacking Iraq because of its alleged weapons of Mass Destruction program? Why do politicians want to send in the military, even before the military thinks it should be involved? Could the upcoming election be part of the reason for these calls for war?
If Bolton and Lieberman are for it that is reason enough to think it’s a really bad idea. Prime Minister Netanyahu hates Obama so would he order an attack before the election thinking it might get him defeated? That’s a question that we should be asking.