Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Iraq has been a disaster. The Iraq war a failure. But you haven’t seen anything until George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are set loose on Iran.
Bush went into Iraq with too few troops, followed by such incompetence and ineptitude in implementing the peace that Iraq is now in civil war. Just ask the retired generals, including General Clark. At every turn, Bush and Rumsfeld’s lack of leadership and lack of vision in Iraq has brought us closer to the brink. When Rumsfeld said, "stuff happens," we should have been warned that the worst was yet to come.
Now imagine Rumsfeld’s "stuff happens" attitude and George W. Bush’s Iraq and Katrina-style bumbling in Iran.
President Bush said Tuesday that "all options are on the table" to prevent Iran from developing atomic weapons, but said he will continue to focus on the international diplomatic option to persuade Tehran to drop its nuclear ambitions.
"We want to solve this issue diplomatically and we’re working hard to do so," Mr. Bush told reporters in the Rose Garden.
As Mr. Bush spoke, diplomats from six countries converged in Moscow to map out the next step toward solving the Iranian nuclear standoff. The United States and Britain say that if Iran does not comply with the U.N. Security Council’s April 28 deadline to stop uranium enrichment, they will seek a resolution that would make the demand compulsory but Russia and China remain wary of sanctions.
After Iraq, why should we trust Bush and his administration on Iran?
Bush’s talk about working "diplomatically" to solve the crisis is not credible. He mimicked the diplomatic posture before the Iraq war, which we all now know was all show. Bush’s inability to produce any national security policy that uses muscular diplomacy is now part of his record. So is Iraq.
Now just imagine Bush and Rumsfeld’s brand of incompetence, weakness and policy secrecy put to the test in Iran. A country that is four times larger than Iraq, with huge military capabilities, as well as a population with a long history of nationalism, not to mention a lethal terrorist group, Hezbollah, inside Iran, which has more organizational power and outreach than al Qaeda.
Now, putting all that aside for a second, though I admit it’s hard to do, what is Bush and Rumsfeld’s plan for Iran? What is the plan for after we strike? Are we preparing in Iraq for what a potential strike against Iran will bring inside that country, already in civil war, not to mention around the world? Then there’s the bottom line question that worries us all.
Does the United States have a war plan for stopping Iran in its pursuit of nuclear weapons?
Last week, President Bush dismissed news reports that his administration has been working on contingency plans for war — particularly talk of the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons against Tehran — as "wild speculation." Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld chimed in, calling it "fantasyland." He declared to reporters that "it just isn’t useful" to talk about contingency planning.
But the secretary is wrong.
It’s important to talk about war planning that’s real. And it is for Iran. In early 2003, even as U.S. forces were on the brink of war with Iraq, the Army had already begun conducting an analysis for a full-scale war with Iran. The analysis, called TIRANNT, for "theater Iran near term," was coupled with a mock scenario for a Marine Corps invasion and a simulation of the Iranian missile force. U.S. and British planners conducted a Caspian Sea war game around the same time. And Bush directed the U.S. Strategic Command to draw up a global strike war plan for an attack against Iranian weapons of mass destruction. All of this will ultimately feed into a new war plan for "major combat operations" against Iran that military sources confirm now exists in draft form.
None of this activity has been disclosed by the U.S. military, and when I wrote about Iran contingency planning last week on The Washington Post Web site, the Pentagon stuck to its dogged position that "we don’t discuss war plans." But it should.
The Pentagon Preps for Iran, by William M. Arkin
Arkin continues today in a post about Rumsfeld’s "crazed flexibility" on Iran, which is part of the philosophy that got us into such a mess in Iraq. Not enough troops, no one to implement the peace, ignoring the plans put forth to secure the peace, the list is endless. Quick footed military teams that are adaptive, is Rumsfeld’s idea of the modern U.S. fighting force. Special Forces teams are essential, but didn’t we learn in Iraq that throwing away detailed analysis and war planning is deadly?
The Iraq war has been a failure.
Now imagine Bush, Dick Cheney, Rummy and the entire Bush team turned loose on Iran. It simply cannot happen.
Look what has happened in Iraq. Why on earth should we trust George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld in Iran?