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02 February 2012


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r whitman

Pat, I make no pretensions of great knowledge of macro military affairs. Can you give us an estimate of how long the US would take to ramp up to support an Israeli attack especially if the Israelis got into trouble. What would the probable military responses from the Iranians, Hesbollah, Hamas, Iraqis, Syrians be towarde the US?


"...the United States would not participate in a war against Iran begun by Israel without prior agreement from Washington"

Wallah? Seems a low bar to clear for committing the country to yet another catastrophe. I doubt the Israel Firsters have used even a fraction of their political capital in this endeavor so far.

There'd be scads of plausible deniability for the President, coupled with the usual images of paw widdle Iswael.


jr 786

You are not paying attention. Why do you think this story is being leaked all over town? The Izzies are on their own in this. pl



A couple of weeks. These countries have little capability against us. the Iranians could make an abortive attempt to close the strait. that would not last long. the big problem would be that we would be stuck in another long, costly struggle against a distant and populous enemy. pl


Col., what happens if the Israelis hit Iran and the Iranians counter-punch at both the Israelis and us? That's what Iran has said it would do. It seems to me that sets off an escalation ladder whether we want it or not. As I understand it, that was Cheney's final scheme for sucking us in, after it became clear that GW Bush was listening to SecDef Gates, who in his turn, was listening to his Brass, notably Adm. Mullen. Col. Sam Gardiner had a paper out a couple of years back that posited U.S. involvement as a given in such a scenario.


There is no higher praise than to be compared to George C. Marshall. (Another VMI graduate.)

Cato the Censor

If we don't want to go to war with Iran and we don't want Israel to do it either, then why is the USG still beating the drum about the (laughable as you characterize it yourself) plot in the U.S. against the Saudi ambassador? Is that for protective cover? Or is one hand working against the other? Just curious.

Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA

Pat, I'm glad to hear of GEN Dempsey's message to Israel, but now the question arises as to the response of the AIPAC, etc., crowd. Your buddy (kidding..) Clapper made a rather ominous remark a couple of days ago to the Senate Intel Committee re “Iran’s willingness to sponsor future attacks in the United States or against our interests abroad probably will be shaped by Tehran’s evaluation of the costs it bears for the plot…as well as Iranian leader’s perception of U.S. threats against the regime.” Which sounds not unlike - in terms of effect - the threat of Saddam's WMD.

What's your take on Clapper's remark?

The Moar You Know

The Israelis don't really understand American "winner-take-all" politics, do they? The "right-wing extremists" that BibiCo are hanging their hopes on cannot exert any meaningful pressure on Obama because they do not control any pro-Obama votes - all their votes would go to his opponent anyway no matter what Obama does. Leaves the Israelis no stick to swing, as it were.

Dempsey has his head screwed on straight. I'm very glad to see this, and hope that the cool heads continue to prevail.



Clapper has to have some CYA to compensate for his clear statement that the IC does not find any evidence that the Iranians currently have a nuc weapons program. pl



They don't have much of anything to use against us yet. They can increase support to irregular attacks but that is about all. pl

Bill H.

I like the comment about the ribbons. I was only six years Navy, enlisted, but my father was 43 years USAAF and USAF, retiring, finally, as Colonel. He had great contempt for anyone who wore more than four rows of ribbons. He himself wore three, which included a Silver and two Bronze. He would not talk about the forst and insisted the second were the "officers' good conduct medals." I don't know how many rows he was entitled to, but having participated in England and European theaters for three years and Korea, it was likely more than four rows.


look at this craziness in NYT...how to fact check any of it if they puportedly blew it all up?



President Obama might just have a quicker learning curve and a stiffer spine than I was willing to grant him.

It is heartening that he and his administration are standing up to the mouse that roared.

Bill H.

Yes, that sort of cracked me up, too. Now that there is no longer any evidence they can make up pretty much anything they want.


It looks like GEN Dempsey represents a breath of fresh air - a reflection of what we should expect of both our civil and military leadership working together in OUR national interest as China's first great historian, Sima Qian so clearly described the Confucian approach to affairs of state: “the master heard that where there are civil matters there must be military preparedness and where there are military matters there must be civil preparedness.” In other words it is the responsibility of leadership to ensure that all key factors be seriously considered especially in cases involving war and peace. Why do you think that China, in spite of their concern for terrorism and located next to Afghanistan, is not among the coalition there - think about it: losses would outweigh the doubtful gains for them. And what about North Korea? Even the Chinese, with hindsight, probably regret their military involvement and now they are asking for others to provide aide to help stave off massive starvation there which, by the way could evolve into a massive
exodus into China or, heaven forbid, a desperate strike against South Korea. And, our leaders need to not only consider the civil and military factors involving Afghanistan, but those in North Korea and Iran as well - but lets not just focus on Iran in isolation.


Yeah, and Israel is targeted by 200,000 missiles. Now just where is that travel warning for US Citizens that we'll be in danger from missile attack if we go to Israel?


I'm glad to hear this is your opinion, Colonel. Nothing could be more welcome than hearing that the Israelis are on their own.

But OTOH, the Israelis have managed to rope us in before, managed to do an end run around US gov't policy plenty of times before this. Nuclear blackmail and all that, Yom Kippur War and Kissinger etc. (I've read my Seymour Hersh)

As a nation they are not grown up. They want what they want and are determined to get it, by fair means or foul. Do you really think they give a sh*t for anything the US tells them? Even from a spokesman with the stature of Dempsey?

Well, I guess you already answered that question :>) Maybe the military high command can do better than the State Dept. in bringing this dog to heel.


It is unlike the current "peacock" display of meaningless ribbons


My exact sentiments.

Couple of years back I was working as a what you people in the U.S. call a security officer, & there was this prick (i.e. a$$ colleague) who enjoyed displaying them medals.

Man, prick didn't even participate in any god**** wars. What's he gotta show for them ornaments?




Sima Qian is much less belligerent than the oft-mentioned "Si vis pacem, para bellum" (if you want peace, prepare for war).

"Si vis pacem, para pactum" seems more suited to our present predicaments.

"If you want peace, agree to keep the peace."

Then again, with that many belligerent parties...

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