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Leaked Gates Memo: Where Is the Plan To Stop Iran’s Nuclear Threat?

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Posted on April 20 2010 10:54 am
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Last Sunday The New York Times showed some journalistic courage for a change by publishing an article that put its friends in the Obama administration on the spot.  It leaked information concerning a classified memo written earlier this year by Defense Secretary Robert Gates that expressed doubt whether the United States has an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward a nuclear arms capability.  And this warning is from the same man who has dutifully proposed delays and terminations of current and next-generation platforms and weapons systems programs in lock-step with President Obama’s priorities.

Gates has tried mightily since his memo was exposed to claim that it did not mean what it sounds like.  But Gates’ message was clear.  He was obviously getting impatient with all talk and no action.  He delivered a similar message when serving as Secretary of Defense during the Bush administration.  Gates has long believed that talk is useless without exerting real leverage on the Iranians.

Iran has marched steadily forward towards its goal of nuclear arms capacity during the fifteen months that have passed since President Obama took office.  All this administration has done about it is to talk.  The year-end deadline set by Obama for Iran to suffer meaningful consequences if it remains on its present course has long since come and gone.    

Obama continues to wait for China and Russia to come around and agree to support tough sanctions against Iran.  What he will get at most is a cosmetic improvement on the current sanctions approved by the UN Security Council that have done nothing to stop Iran’s march towards becoming a nuclear power.  More weeks – perhaps months – will be wasted.  If military options are to be considered at some point, Gates and the military need sufficient time to prepare.  Obviously that was not happening as Obama thought his charisma would win the day.

What Obama has failed to understand is that negotiation and reason do not work with a regime made up of nuts like Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who sent a letter to President Obama last month which the White House refuses to make public.

When will Obama level with the American people about the Iranian threat to world peace and what meaningful measures is he willing to use to stop it, if any, given that his attempt at negotiations have failed and his hopes for meaningful sanctions are stalled?

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