Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen said in Washington today that he’s concerned about Iran’s role in Iraq. Adm. Mullen said Iran seems to be “ratcheting things up” in Iraq. He told a Defense Department news conference that it was “clear” that recently made Iranian weapons are flowing into Iraq at a steadily increasing rate. He also accused Iran of supporting insurgents during the recent fighting in Basra.
“It's not just weapons,” Mullen said of Iranian support. “They continue to train Iraqis in Iran to come back and fight Americans in the coalition,” he added. “I just don't see any evidence of them backing off. And Basra highlighted a lot of that.”
Mullen also said that US intelligence is seeing similar Iranian aid for militants and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
During a separate interview with Al Jazeera today, Adm. Mullen said the US would maintain a presence in the Persian Gulf in an attempt to deter Iran from taking any military action. Mullen was quick to say that he preferred "a peaceful outcome" and not to use military force.
“I think it's important to ratchet up the pressure as much as we can on Iran … internationally, financially, diplomatically … without taking the combat option off the table,” Mullen told Al Jazeera.
Mullen also said:
... that the Pentagon is planning for "potential military courses of action" against Iran..
..."a conflict with Iran would be "extremely stressing" but not impossible for U.S. forces, pointing specifically to reserve capabilities in the Navy and Air Force...
..."it would be a mistake to think that we are out of combat capability."
Mark, these are important and serious remarks. We might have to read them at their face value: military action against Iran’s nuclear installations is not a preferred course, but it still remains an option
I am beginning to think that those 3 Iranian backed terrorist training camps, as mentioned by general Petraeus, will be bombed sooner or later.
Do we actually have the authority to strike Iran without authorization from Congress?
Joseph, the administration argues that the anti-terrorist legislation passed in the aftermath of 9/11 authorize them to strike at terrorist targets without having to go to Congress for additional authorization. Opponents argue that the White House indeed needs to go to Congress for authorization as such military action constitutes an act of war against another country.
I saw the interview and I got to say, I think the US military is going down an almost identical road as the invasion of Iraq went. The assertions that Iran is supplying in some ways militants and the Teliban are somewhat outrageous, considering the stance of Iran with extremists and the Teliban. Not forgetting the the tribal region of Baluchistan and the porous borders with Pakistan and southern Afghanistan. Any ordinance finding its way to Helmand and beyond could easily be placed at the hand of Belushi's... who are synonymous with the drug trafficking trade. I listened to Mullen and laughed at him as the claims and assertions eminating from the White House/Pentagon and members of Congress are bordering on desperate. Remember before the Iraq war there was the yellow cake from Niger, The links to Al Qeada and Saddam training them... none of which were true... There is also a serious question officials are steering completely away from and thats Sunni and Shia religion and the huge differences between it... Its no wonder Iran's government/ Regime depending on your stance is laughing all the way to the UN.
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