As rumors continue circulating around Washington D.C. about a secret Dick Cheney plan to attack Iran, Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said U.S. officials should consider the damage that could result from initiating a new war in the Middle East. H also added that military options could not be taken off the table. He specifically noted it was ‘a last option.” Mullen believes the focus now should be on “bringing together the international community that is constructive, not destructive.” he also commented on a lesson he had learned from fighting in Iraq– there is need to have agencies like USAID receive funding that is larger.
The choice of words by Admiral Mullen is instructive. He uses expressions like “last option” and urges “bringing together the international community” in dealing with Iran. Ironically, the Bush administration is following the opposite path of ignoring the international community and considering air strikes as a first option. One can only hypothesize from his words there is not overwhelming support among American military leaders about attacking Iran. They understand such action would place unbearable strains on existing forces and raise renewed demands for a drafty system. Hopefully, unlike in Iraq when Bush and Rumsfeld ignored the advice of General Shinseki who wanted more troops in Iraq, this time Bush will listen carefully to the advice of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Posted in Conservatives, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Iran, Iraq War, Military, Republicans, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush, Cheney, Iran, Joint Chiefs, Mullen, Rumsfeld, Shinseki
Michael Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters the United States armed forces was prepared to handle any potential conflict with Iran because “there is more than enough reserves to respond(militarily) if that, in fact, is what the national leadership wanted to do.” Mullen also told the press he had not uncovered any evidence so far of Iranian military weapons being furnished to insurgent forces in Afghanistan although Bush officials continually claim that is happening. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who also appeared at the press conference, warned against the proposed Armenian genocide resolution in Congress and warned about a negative Turkish reaction. “I don’t think the Turks are bluffing.” He also expressed concerns over private contractors in Iraq and thought they were seriously damaging the interests of the United States.
Perhaps, Admiral Mullen knows about the presence of additional military forces, but, at present, the American military is stretched thin. The American people were told by prior Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld the attack on Iraq could easily be handled by a small armed force. Now, Mullen and Gates are claiming we can handle Iran with existing forces. What if an air and naval assault then required land forces in Iran, how could we organize such an assault with existing numbers in our Army and Marine Corps? isn’t it about time the Bush administration spoke honestly to the American public by telling them an air attack on Iran would also require instituting a draft system?
Posted in George Bush, Iran, Iraq, Iraq War, Military, Peace, Politics, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged attack, Gates, Iran, Joint Chiefs, Mullen
Recent reports in newspapers about the desire of the U.S. Marine Corps to pull its troops out of Iraq and take over the fighting in Afghanistan have provoked fury among Army generals. “This (the proposal) is not going down well with the Army,” said a general on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, adding the situation is going to “be more contentious and sensitive than many people outside of the inside team realize.” The Marines have floated the idea of its 25,000 mean force in Iraq being pulled out and going to Afghanistan where it would have complete responsibility for handling military operations. This would require Army troops being pulled out of Afghanistan and redeploying to Iraq. Marine units are designed to be self-sustaining for up to 30 days in case of a Marine expeditionary unit, and 60 days in case of a Marine expeditionary brigade. Longer deployments, “by law” require the Army to provide logistical support. If Marines redeployed to Afghanistan, the U.S. Army would have to provide support for Marine units that are not under the command of Army generals.
Some experts wonder if a Marine seven month rotation works in counter-insurgencye operations which necessitate building long term relations with local inhabitants. There is no doubt Army generals have taken umbrage at the implication Marines have been more effective in fighting Iraq insurgents. This “conflict” is merely one of many in American history in which competing units of our armed forces argue as to which is the more effective fighting group. One can only wonder where Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is as the controversy swirls around — was he aware of Marine desires before they became public knowledge?
Posted in Asia, Iraq War, Military, Politics, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Afghanistan, Army, Iraq, Joint Chiefs, US Marines