Joint chiefs of staff head Admiral Mike Mullen has concluded, after much deliberation no doubt, that an Iran nuclear bomb would be calamitous. There seems to have been considerable doubt about this point in the Obama administration, with many people taking the view that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a real nice guy who just needs talking to.
The remarks came the day after Iran's president Ahadinejad announced the country had tested a missile that analysts said could hit Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf, a major source of crude oil for the United States. The solid fuel rocket has a range of 2,500 KM. The test annuncement came a few hours after a panel of US and Russian experts concluded definitely that at present Iran only has missiles with half that range. So much for expert opinions.
Mullen also said, "The downside, potentially, is absolutely disastrous." What's the upside?
According to the Reuters report:
Obama also set a rough timetable for his diplomatic outreach, saying that by the end of this year the United States should have a sense of whether the effort was making progress.
That's very rough. In fact, it is meaningless.
At least everybody seems to be on the same page - An Iranian Nuke would not be a GOOD THING. It would be a VERY BAD THING. The Americans are finally beginning to understand what the Saudis, the Israelis, the Bahrainis, the Kuwaitis and everyone else in the Middle East understands. They understand that the Iranian regime is NOT NICE and does not have peaceful and friendly intentions toward its neighbors. If they get the bomb, a lot of people would be threatened, and even more important for Americans, the price of gasoline would be threatened. Now that's really important.
But Mike Mullen and the US government are still clueless about what it will take to stop the Iranian effort. Mullen said:
"Major leaders, internationally, have got to come together to arrest this growth or the long-term downside for the people in the world is really, really tragic and drastic,"
Coming together, is not going to do much good unless there is a plan. Sanctions are not going to be effective and thus far China and Russia at least, will not go along with sanctions. It is doubtful that the Swiss, who are major suppliers of gasoline to Iran, would go along either.
Mike Mullen have repeatedly and publicly vetoed any Israeli attack on Iran. This removes the teeth from any deterrent threats. Only the prospect of an attack might thwart Iran and prevent the "calamitous" outcome.