Global Research, March 15, 2009
The top US military commander describes how Washington would engage Iran militarily amid simmering talks of war on the country.
In a weekend interview with Charlie Rose, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said although he is concerned with the ‘consequences’ of a military action against Iran, the army could rely on a ‘very strong strategic reserve’.
“We have the capacity to do it but we are stretched. My ground forces are very stressed, very worn… On the other hand we’ve got a very strong strategic reserve in our Air Force and in our Navy and in fact that’s a part of the world, it’s a maritime part of the world, where the emphasis would certainly be on those two forces,” explained Adm. Mullen.
His remarks come as Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi is currently in the US to discuss “the Iranian threat” with the heads of the defense establishment and the US Secretary of State’s special adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia, Dennis Ross, according to Israeli media.
The US and Israel accuse Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of having military objectives in its pursuit of nuclear technology.
While Israel repeatedly threatens to launch aerial strikes against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, the US — under the previous administration as well as the current one — warns that the use of military option remains on the table to retard the country’s nuclear program.
As Western doubts linger over the success of any Israeli military plan against Iran as well as Tehran’s retaliation warnings, the US is expected to be involved — voluntarily or forcibly — in a potential war against Iran.
Adm. Mullen argued that a war against Iran would set off “unintended” outcomes and endanger US interests in the oil-rich region.
“What I worry about in terms of an attack on Iran is in addition to the immediate effect, the effect of the attack, it’s the unintended consequences,” Mullen said. “So I worry about the responses and I worry about it escalating in ways that we couldn’t predict.”
“So that kind of option generates a much higher level of risk in terms of outcomes in the region and it really concerns me,” he added.
Earlier reports suggested that Israel’s Prime Minister-designate, Benjamin Netanyahu, anticipates being involved in a “major military confrontation in the next few months”.
Netanyahu is known as “Mr. Iran” in Israeli circles as he has long pledged to do “everything that is necessary” to stop the progress of Tehran’s nuclear program once and for all.
Iran contends that its only goal is to make use of the civilian applications of the nuclear technology and has warned that it would not hesitate to take all necessary measures to defend its national interests.
Meanwhile in the White House, President Barack Obama is believed to be drawing up plans to engage Iran in diplomacy over the disputed nuclear program.
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