Sunday, April 18, 2010

Leaked Gates memo: U.S. lacks policy to deal with Iran

In what should be considered a news bombshell, The New York Times is reporting that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wrote a top secret memorandum to top White House officials warning that the U.S. lacks a long-range policy to deal with Iran's quest for nuclear capability:
Several officials said the highly classified analysis, written in January to President Obama’s national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones, came in the midst of an intensifying effort inside the Pentagon, the White House and the intelligence agencies to develop new options for Mr. Obama. They include a set of military alternatives, still under development, to be considered should diplomacy and sanctions fail to force Iran to change course.

Officials familiar with the memo’s contents would describe only portions dealing with strategy and policy, and not sections that apparently dealt with secret operations against Iran, or how to deal with Persian Gulf allies.

One senior official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the memo, described the document as “a wake-up call.” But White House officials dispute that view, insisting that for 15 months they had been conducting detailed planning for many possible outcomes regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
It should come as no surprise that the Times is willing to leak classified information, but he timing of the leak -the memo is three months old- to coincide with the gap between the Won's nuclear summit and the Sunday news shows is quite interesting.  Allahpundit muses:
Exit question: Why was this leaked now? The memo was written in January but only today are “government officials” finally whispering about it to the Times. Normally I’d assume that it was leaked by the White House itself in yet another naive attempt to pressure allied powers about the severity of the threat, but the story’s simply too embarrassing to Obama. Presumably the leakers are insiders who are worried that, three months later, we’re still not taking the prospect of an Iranian bomb seriously enough. We will be tomorrow.
Whatever the source and motivation for the leak, it sends a clear message to Israel (just in case Obama's arrogant  and dismissive treatment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn't do the trick) that any meaningful effort to stop Iran's nuclear march rests on the Jewish state alone.

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