Bush's gewijzigd aanvalsplan voor Iran – 'Shifting Targets' (Seymour M. Hersh in The New Yorker)

I.p.v. massieve luchtaanvallen op Iranese nucleaire installaties en aanverwante doelen, worden nu (in eerste instantie) precisie-aanvallen gepland op de Revolutionaire Garde.
Maar tegelijkertijd is Amerika voorbereid om de oorlog te escaleren, mede afhankelijk van de reacties van Iran. Dat Iran zulke gelimiteerde aanvallen lijdzaam zal ondergaan, lijkt hoogst onwaarschijnlijk..

[Opmerking: Deze oorlog kan desastreuze consequenties hebben, o.a. voor de NAVO/ISAF-eenheden in Afghanistan, Irak en het Midden-Oosten. Het gevaar van ‘horizontale’ (i.c. geografische) en ‘vertikale’ (qua geweldsniveau), is levensgroot.
Mondiaal zal zij leiden tot verdere radicalisering van islamieten tegen ‘het Westen’, inclusief Nederland.]

The focus of the plans had been a broad bombing attack, with targets including Iran’s known and suspected nuclear facilities and other military and infrastructure sites. Now the emphasis is on “surgical” strikes on Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities in Tehran and elsewhere, which, the Administration claims, have been the source of attacks on Americans in Iraq. What had been presented primarily as a counter-proliferation mission has been reconceived as counterterrorism.

The shift in targeting reflects three developments. First, the President and his senior advisers have concluded that their campaign to convince the American public that Iran poses an imminent nuclear threat has failed (unlike a similar campaign before the Iraq war), and that as a result there is not enough popular support for a major bombing campaign. The second development is that the White House has come to terms, in private, with the general consensus of the American intelligence community that Iran is at least five years away from obtaining a bomb. And, finally, there has been a growing recognition in Washington and throughout the Middle East that Iran is emerging as the geopolitical winner of the war in Iraq…

The revised bombing plan for a possible attack, with its tightened focus on counterterrorism, is gathering suppor among generals and admirals in the Pentagon. The strategy calls for the use of sea-launched cruise missiles an more precisely targeted ground attacks and bombing strikes, including plans to destroy the most importan Revolutionary Guard training camps, supply depots, and command and control facilities.

“Cheney’s option is now for a fast in and out—for surgical strikes,” the former senior American intelligence official told me. The Joint Chiefs have turned to the Navy, he said, which had been chafing over its role in the Air Force-dominated air war in Iraq. “The Navy’s planes, ships, and cruise missiles are in place in the Gulf and operating daily. They’ve got everything they need—even AWACS are in place and the targets in Iran have been programmed. The Navy is flying FA-18 missions every day in the Gulf.” There are also plans to hit Iran’s anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile sites. “We’ve got to get a path in and a path out,” the former official said.

A Pentagon consultant on counterterrorism told me that, if the bombing campaign took place, it would be accompanied by a series of what he called “short, sharp incursions” by American Special Forces units into suspected Iranian training sites. He said, “Cheney is devoted to this, no question.” A limited bombing attack of this sort “only makes sense if the intelligence is good,” the consultant said. If the targets are not clearly defined, the bombing “will start as limited, but then there will be an ‘escalation special.’ Planners will say that we have to deal with Hezbollah here and Syria there. The goal will be to hit the cue ball one time and have all the balls go in the pocket. But add-ons are always there in strike planning.”

The surgical-strike plan has been shared with some of America’s allies, who have had mixed reactions to it…

Bush’s gewijzigde aanvalsplan voor Iran – ‘Shifting Targets’ (Seymour M. Hersh in The New Yorker)

Iran crisis

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3 thoughts on “Bush's gewijzigd aanvalsplan voor Iran – 'Shifting Targets' (Seymour M. Hersh in The New Yorker)

  1. ONE of the founding fathers of neoconservatism has privately urged President George W Bush to bomb Iran rather than allow it to acquire nuclear weapons.
    Norman Podhoretz, an intellectual guru of the neoconservative movement who has joined Rudolph Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign as a senior foreign policy adviser, held an unpublicised meeting with Bush late last spring at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.
    The encounter reveals the enduring influence of the neoconservatives at the highest reaches of the White House, despite some high-profile casualties in the past year.
    Karl Rove, who was still serving in the White House as Bush’s deputy chief of staff, took notes. But the meeting, which lasted 45 minutes, was not logged on the president’s schedule…
    He also told Bush: “You have the awesome responsibility to prevent another holocaust. You’re the only one with the guts to do it.” The president looked very solemn, Podhoretz said.
    For the most part Bush simply listened, although he and Rove both laughed when Podhoretz mentioned giving “futility its chance”, a phrase used by his fellow neoconservative, Robert Kagan, about the usefulness of pursuing United Nations sanctions against Iran.
    “He gave not the slightest indication of whether he agreed with me, but he listened very intently,” Podhoretz said.
    He is convinced, however, that “George Bush will not leave office with Iran having acquired a nuclear weapon or having passed the point of no return” – a reference to the Iranians’ acquisition of sufficient technical capability to produce a nuclear weapon…
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article2558296.eceReactie is geredigeerd

  2. American diplomats have been ordered to compile a dossier detailing Iran’s violations of international law that some fear could be used to justify military strikes against the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme.
    Members of the US secretariat in the United Nations were asked earlier this month to begin "searching for things that Iran has done wrong", The Sunday Telegraph has learnt…
    Some US diplomats believe the exercise — reminiscent of attempts by vice-president Dick Cheney and the former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld to build the case against Saddam Hussein before the Iraq war — will boost calls for military action by neo-conservatives inside and outside the administration…
    Concern is also growing in the CIA and the Pentagon that the White House exaggerated intelligence used to justify an Israeli air raid on a suspected nuclear facility in Syria earlier this month, which some neo-conservatives hope is a precursor to war with Iran.
    Bruce Reidel, a former CIA Middle East desk officer, said the neo-conservatives realised their influence would wane rapidly when Mr Bush left office in just over 15 months. "Whatever crazy idea they have to try to transform the Middle East, they have to push now. The real hardline neo-conservatives are getting desperate that the door of history is about to close on them with an epitaph of total failure."
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/30/wiran230.xml

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