John on April 26, 2008 at 10:26 am
On Friday, Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that the US was capable of engaging Iran militarily. This comes in response to what Mullen described as Iran’s increased training and support of militias in Iraq:
Mullen said the military is preparing to roll out evidence, including date stamps on newly found weapons caches, to prove that recently made Iranian weapons are flowing into Iraq at a steadily increasing rate.
He would not detail the evidence, which is expected to be revealed by military leaders in Iraq as early as next week. Another senior military official said it will include mortars, rockets, small arms, roadside bombs and armor-piercing explosives, known as explosively formed penetrators or EFPs that troops have discovered in caches in recent months.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the evidence has not yet been made public, said dates on some of the weapons were well after Teheran indicated late last year that it was scaling back aid to insurgents.
In addition, the evidence will include information gleaned from detainees who were reportedly trained by members of Iran’s Quds Force, as well as insurgents who received instruction on how to train others.
Part of the firepower the military will unveil was used to support insurgents during the recent fighting in Basra in southern Iraq, officials said.
Mullen said he has seen evidence “that some of the weapons are recently not just found, but recently manufactured.”
It would be a mistake to think that we are out of combat capability
Of course no one is declaring open war just yet, but the Admiral’s message was clear:
“It would be a mistake to think that we are out of combat capability…”
My own bet is that the Iranians are bidding their time, hoping for a Barack Obama win. This isn’t speculation. Reporters in Tehran have noted that Obama is much favored over McCain. Ahmadinejad himself is on record supporting an Obama win.
The reason for this is obvious. Obama’s recent tough talk about Iran’s recklessness doesn’t change the fact that his basic stance is one of “aggressive personal diplomacy.” In other words, he plans to give the mullahs who are actively killing our troops a stern lecture and, possibly, a hard look.
An Obama win won’t mean scaling back operations in Iraq. Quite the opposite. It will be seen as a green flag to increase operations without fear of reprisal. And just as they’ve done in the last six months, the Iranians will swear up and down not to be involved and swear to stop their involvement all in the same breath. And just like now, they’ll go right ahead and do what they damn well please in Iraq. Meanwhile evidence of Iran’s involvement will not come to light for fear of casting a harsh light on President Obama’s “aggressive personal diplomacy” scheme.
In short, an Obama win in November is almost certain to trigger an increase in Iranian-funded chaos in Iraq. The DNC will of course trot out their experts to explain that this was inevitable, that the surge never really worked, that it’s all Bush’s fault, blah, blah, blah. But before all of that comes to pass we should just note that disaster is not inevitable. Right now we are making progress. Iraq could become a stable semi-democracy, something very rare in that part of the world. Or it could become a wholly owned subsidiary of Quds Force under the control of anti-US mullahs.
The choice in ours.