Patterico's Pontifications


Obama Administration: No Response to a Nuclear Iran

Filed under: International,Obama,Terrorism — DRJ @ 10:10 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Hot Air posts on the New York Times‘ Saturday night bombshell — Secret Gates memo warns that U.S. has no strategy for dealing with a nuclear Iran. Here’s Allahpundit’s summary:

“Of course they didn’t prepare alternatives. How could they possibly fathom that diplomacy might fail? The core plank of “smart power,” such as it is, has always been the Obama charm offensive. Simply by being the anti-Bush and offering an open hand to Iran, he would convince Tehran to unclench its fist and open a dialogue. Bush was the problem (he always is!) and once the problem was removed, solutions would inevitably follow. So why bother developing a Plan B? The result: Iran’s now enriching uranium to 20 percent purity and rolling out advanced centrifuges, which means nuclear “breakout” capacity, i.e. the ability to build a bomb quickly even if they haven’t yet done so, won’t be long in coming.
The fact that western powers had been waltzing with Iran over its nuke program for fully seven years at that point might have given them a clue that no action would be taken, but that’s “smart power” for you.”

Allahpundit speculates about why this was leaked now and also blames Bush for (1) focusing on Iraq instead of Iran, and (2) knowing a Democratic President would fumble the ball. Sorry, but I’m not buying that. Republican Presidents have enough to worry about without being responsible for their Democratic successor’s foul-ups.

However, it is interesting to ponder why this January memo was leaked now. After reading the New York Times’ questions to President Obama in this April 5th interview, the similar questions make me think they already had Gates’ memo or knew of its contents. Whether or not this is the case, Obama’s response focused on the success of his upcoming nuclear summit as the solution to Iran’s nuclear threat:

“But our expectation is not that there’s just some vague, gauzy statement about us not wanting to see loose nuclear materials. We anticipate a communiqué that spells out very clearly, here’s how we’re going to achieve locking down all the nuclear materials over the next four years, and different countries, depending on their circumstances and vulnerabilities, taking very specific steps in order to assure that that happens.”

The summit is over and the clear communiqué didn’t materialize, so it’s not that surprising the Gates memo did.


22 Responses to “Obama Administration: No Response to a Nuclear Iran”

  1. Israel has one and they had better start drilling and building nuclear power plants. One there is a serious response, that is bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities, they will be SOL.

    That means us.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  2. Maybe the New York Times is mad about the way the Obama Administration treats the press:

    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs met with a delegation from the White House press corps for 75 minutes on Thursday in an effort to improve frayed relations between the two sides.

    Ed Chen, a White House correspondent for Bloomberg News who is president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, said he asked for the meeting “to clear the air because in my 10-plus years at the White House, rarely have I sensed such a level of anger, which is wide and deep, among members over White House practices and attitude toward the press.
    Also representing the press at the session were the two other members of WHCA’s executive board — USA Today’s David Jackson and Reuters’ Caren Bohan. The others in the delegation were The New York Times’ Richard Stevenson; Terence Hunt of The Associated Press; John Harrington, president of the White House News Photographers Association; and WHNPA Secretary Ron Sachs.”

    How’s that Hope and Change working out?

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  3. You had to know that the WHPC would not long tolerate the administration’s arrogance being directed at them.

    Put another way: nobody’s self-importance can top their own — not allowed.

    Icy Texan (551933)

  4. why do so many people think that Ear Leader is against Iran having nukes?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  5. “We anticipate a communiqué”…

    “…just words?”

    –Barack Obama

    navyvet (8e1431)

  6. I disagree….Obama does not a response to Iran….submission.

    J (2946f2)

  7. Sorry, should have proof-read…Obama’s response is submission. That is his response to any bully. It would be interesting if someday they examined his school days….must have been a living nightmare.

    J (2946f2)

  8. My comment got garbled for some reason. I meant to say that Israel has nukes and will not tolerate a nuclear Iran. WE had better start drilling and building nuclear power plants. I don’t know if Netanyahu will wait to see if the Iranian government falls over the controversy within or if he will attack once he is told there is a weapon about to be completed. There are lots of rumors that the Revolutionary Guard senior officers are squirreling money away in Swiss banks. That could be a sign sanity might break out and Iran would become a standard military dictatorship but they can collapse with the infighting.

    I am almost as worried about Pakistan as I am Iran, especially if the IRG takes over and throws out the mullahs as rulers.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  9. DRJ, just how is this defined as a “Saturday night bombshell.” It would be a “bombshell” only if you actually expected President Obama and his Administration to have some idea what they’re doing.

    The unsurprised Dana (474dfc)

  10. Jimmy Carter I gave us a radical Iran.
    Jimmy Carter II gave us a nuclear Iran.

    Why do they (the Dems) hate us?

    Patricia (fa8e06)

  11. The Cult of Personality® rides fails again. It’s all over but the bow and curtsy.

    GeneralMalaise (24d3e0)

  12. I’m shocked, shocked to find out that we have no discernible plan for the Iranian nukes. Where’s Claude Raines when you need him?

    Dmac (21311c)

  13. I wouldn’t count on Israel to have an answer for us. Ive seen fairly reputable analysis indicating that they do not in fact have the capability to do so. And unlike with Bush, I don’t think you could count on Obama providing the help (mostly mid-air refueling) that would be needed to make it theoretically possible. Even then it would take such a huge percent of the Isreali air force that I don’t see them making such a gamble. Keeping the forces at home would leave them with a chance that sending them over hostile territory would not. And unlike the US over Iraq Israel does not have the ability to completely knock out Iran’s air force and then go after C&C targets so it very likely wouldn’t be a clean attack for them.

    Soronel Haetir (295125)

  14. Although everybody assumes that is Israel attacks, it will be with an air strike, that is not the only option.

    Israel has 3 German made Dolphin subs that can fire an Israeli nuclear tipped cruise missle (called Popeye) and Germany is to deliver 2 more of these subs this year.

    In addition, Israel has developed a ICBM with a range of 4,000 miles.

    If you know the precise target, it is a lot easier to attack with a high payload missle than a series of aircraft with all the attendant problems (being shot down, refueling, etc)

    Mike (e71888)

  15. Well, the Obama administration’s foreign policy continues to be a very dangerous failure.

    Meanwhile, Allahpundit’s take is rather bizarre. Do we have the beginning of a Charles Johnson syndrome here?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  16. . . . and also blames Bush for (1) focusing on Iraq instead of Iran . . .

    On the contrary, there is a lot to be said for Bush’s policy of making an example of Saddam Hussein.

    It certainly made Ghaddafi sit up and take notice. When he announced in 2003 that he was giving up his nuclear program, he said it was due to Bush’s action in Iraq. If there is any truth to the CIA’s assertion that Iran had suspended it’s nuclear weapons program in 2003 (and I believe it contains a grain of truth, in that they suspended a small part of it) it was undoubtedly connected to events in Iraq.

    Certainly, the mullahs had to wonder if things had changed.

    All it took was the reaction of the “world community” and our own Congress to convince them it hadn’t.

    Then there were the actions of our intelligence agencies and press. Just how do you go about developing plan B if the people intimately involved are actively sabotaging it? With the help of a willing press?

    Steve (7d8b00)

  17. If GWB has not engaged Iraq, we would only have forces in Afghanistan, with no sea-port to supply them in case of a major push with large formations.
    As it is, we have forces on two sides of Iran, we can protect the supply lines through the Persian Gulf, and we have overflight privileges from the former USSR “stans” – though it would be nice to have the use of that airfield back in Krgyzstan.

    AD - RtR/OS! (4249dd)

  18. DRJ

    I think Allahpundit may have been thinking as some have felt that Iran was the reason we had to intervene in Iraq.

    Problems with Iran

    Their constant intervention in Iraq

    Their proxy seizsure of Gaza and the lower third of Lebanon.

    Their funding the assault on Saudi Arabia

    Irans intervention and support of the Yemeni Rebels

    Irans tacit involvement in Somalia and the pirates

    We would not have had to secure Iraq to the extent we did if we had militarily engaged Iran. The old Persian state would have fractured into many tribal segments if played properly and pitted against each other.

    Iran is seeking the bloodshed of their fellow Muslims and Arabs, they have proved that they are capable of great violence

    EricPWJohnson (79703a)

  19. We would not have had to secure Iraq to the extent we did if we had militarily engaged Iran. The old Persian state would have fractured into many tribal segments if played properly and pitted against each other.

    Not necessarily true.

    But I definitely wouldn’t put the Obama administration’s actions toward Iran under the heading of “played properly.” His overeagerness to legitimize Ahmadinejad’s fraudelent election victory, and to congragulate him for his win, sidelining himself while the protesters were getting slaughtered, his defunding the activity that monitored Iranian human rights abuses, etc.

    Not to say the Bush administration didn’t play everything right. But Obama’s actions in the face of such as obvious opportunity show that even if Bush hadn’t limited his successor’s options (if that’s how you want to view our involvement in Iraq), Obama would have looked for ways to do so on his own.

    Steve (fca69c)

  20. If it was so hard to hold a country with 25 million people, one with 60 million would have been easier?.
    Add to that Iran’s war machines was nowhere as degraded as Iraq, missile strikes at Saudi and
    other targets, at the 7th Fleet, not to mention Israel would have likely been in the cards

    ian cormac (422538)

  21. I’ve quoted you and linked to you here: Terrorists, American Citizenship, and Sham Marriages

    Consul-At-Arms (f4574f)

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