INCREDIBLE! – AT 10:09 A.M. ET: We read this, and it confirms some of our worst fears about the competence and even the integrity of the Obama administration. From The New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has warned in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability, according to government officials familiar with the document.
Several officials said the highly classified analysis, written in January to President Obama’s national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones, came in the midst of an intensifying effort inside the Pentagon, the White House and the intelligence agencies to develop new options for Mr. Obama. They include a set of military alternatives, still under development, to be considered should diplomacy and sanctions fail to force Iran to change course.
Mr. Gates’s memo appears to reflect concerns in the Pentagon and the military that the White House did not have a well prepared series of alternatives in place in case all the diplomatic steps finally failed. Separately, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote a “chairman’s guidance” to his staff in December conveying a sense of urgency about contingency planning. He cautioned that a military attack would have “limited results,” but he did not convey any warnings about policy shortcomings.
“Should the president call for military options, we must have them ready,” the admiral wrote.
COMMENT: Pretty outrageous. Gates's memo was written a year after this administration took office, and still we don't have proper policy alternatives in place.
Certainly makes us sleep better at night, correct?
The lack of urgency by the White House is appalling. Maybe it tells us what Obama really thinks about Iran. Maybe he doesn't think at all.
This story will be read intensively this morning by all the countries we're presumably trying to get on board for new sanctions on Iran. I'm sure they'll be deeply impressed.
And what happens when Bob Gates, a solid guy, leaves the administration? Who will Obama appoint to succeed him at Defense? It gives one the chills.
April 18, 2010