Sunday, October 15, 2017

James Mattis: Trump Never Asked for More Nukes, Rex Never Called Him a Moron

Secretary of Defense James Mattis flatly denied that President Donald J. Trump ever requested ten times more nuclear weapons. He also says that Secretary Rex Tillerson never called the commander-in-chief a “moron”.

"There was no discussion with that tone or that content that I recall in the Pentagon or at any other time," Mattis told reporters during an impromptu visit to the Pentagon press area. "I will even remove that I recall. I think I would recall a conversation about doubling or ten times the nukes, Okay. I've never had that discussion."

"If I had gotten word like that I surely would have asked for a meeting to go back over and say whether or not I thought it was good idea," Mattis said.

As to whether or not Rex Tillerson actually called President Trump a moron, Mattis denies that as well.


"I was right there so anyone who says that he called someone a moron, I mean, I was there with him the whole way and that never happened," Mattis said.

The Pitch That ‘Made The State Of Israel Possible’
By Francine Klagsbrun  October 10, 2017

MIL-ED  POSTING NOTE:

In 1948,  the Jews in Palestine were facing certain destruction.

Unfortunately, a large element of American Jews as represented by the Council for Judaism were adamantly opposed to the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. They supported the American embargo which prevented armaments, ammunition, communications equipment, vehicles, etc. from being sent to support the Jews in Palestine who were  then under withering attack from the Arabs

Also unfortunately, a large element of the American foreign policy establishment  believed in practicing "realpolitik". This meant placating the large, energy-rich, Arab world. As a consequence, it also meant acquiescing to the continued murder of Jews.

Move forward 69 years  to 2017 and what is changed?  There is a large element of American Jews as represented by J St., Jewish Voice for Peace, Peace Now, etc. that are hostile to the existence of a Jewish state in Palestine [Israel] and large elements in the American foreign policy establishment that believes in practicing "realpolitik". This means placating large energy-rich Arab world. As a consequence it means placing continued pressure on Israel to make security threatening concessions which also means acquiescing in the continued murder of Jews.

The Pitch That ‘Made The State Of Israel Possible’
By Francine Klagsbrun  October 10, 2017

http://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/the-pitch-that-made-the-state-of-israel-possible/

In January of 1948, Golda Meir, in a plain dark dress, without a speck of makeup, came before a roomful of well-heeled UJA donors. The fate of a nation was riding on it.

One of the more dramatic successes of Golda Meir took place in the United States, when she was sent by David Ben-Gurion in January 1948 on a desperate mission: to raise funds to finance the fighting taking place in Palestine, with Jerusalem under a deadly siege. Ben-Gurion wanted to go himself, but Meir, who was a member of the inner circle of the pre-state leadership, helped convince him she could accomplish what others had failed to do in raising $7 million. On her arrival in New York, Meir took the advice of her sister, Clara, to try to speak at the annual conference of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago.


The person to arrange that was Henry Montor, executive vice-chairman of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA). Golda knew of Montor but had never met him. Three years earlier, in 1945, he had gathered a group of 17 wealthy Jewish businessmen to meet with Ben-Gurion, then visiting New York, at the apartment of the millionaire Rudolf G. Sonneborn. At the meeting, the group formed a secret “club” to raise money and purchase armaments and equipment for the future state. During the next several years, the “Sonneborn Institute,” its cover name, contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars toward buying and stockpiling military materials, to be shipped later to Palestine.

Montor was in Chicago when Golda arrived in the States. He knew little about her except that in the past she had been “an impecunious, unimportant representative, a “schnorrer,’” who stayed in people’s houses instead of hotels. Now she arrived “without a dime in her pocketbook even to take a taxi” and wanted to speak at the federation conference. Out of concern for Israel, he pressured the federation to fit her into a luncheon spot on Sunday, January 25, 1948, when the big donors would be present. But how was he going to sell her to that well-heeled crowd?


Present at the creation: In “Lioness,” Francine Klagsbrun chronicles the arc of Golda Meir’s life, from Milwaukee to the halls of the Knesset. KLAGSBRUN CREDIT: Joan Roth
For two days, a snowstorm shut down airports and stalled trains, but during a brief break in the weather on Saturday, Golda found a plane to carry her to Chicago, probably the only one to leave that day. She had not been to the States in ten years. Although reports about her had appeared in American newspapers from time to time, she was hardly a household name. “I was terribly afraid of going to these people who didn’t know me from Adam,” she recalled. “I admit I was shaking.  I had no idea what was going to happen.”

It could not have been easy to meet Montor either. At 42, almost eight years younger than she, he had a reputation as a demon when it came to fund-raising. In 1946, he had set a goal of $100 million for the UJA, the largest campaign of any Jewish organization in history, anywhere in the world, and met it. After that he became for other fundraisers “a Pied Piper. He played the tune and we all danced.” Impatient, seemingly always in motion, his dark eyes snapping, Montor didn’t suffer fools gladly. He was giving Golda this opportunity. She sensed that she had to live up to it or there would be no others.

She delivered her talk without notes, her favorite form of public speaking. “Friends,” she said, looking out at the audience in the way she had of making every listener feel personally addressed. “The mufti and his people have declared war upon us. We have no alternative but … to fight for our lives, for our safety, for what we have accomplished in Palestine, for Jewish honor, for Jewish independence.” She told them of the young people, seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds, Haganah members, who fearlessly escorted Jews over the dangerous road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and of others, more than twenty thousand young men and women, who registered to join the military organization. She told them of the 35 who “fought to the very end” on the road to Kfar Etzion and of the last one killed. He had run out of ammunition but died with a stone in his hand, prepared to continue fighting.



The Jewish community in Palestine “is going to fight to the very end” also, she said. “If we have something to fight with, we will fight with that, and if not, we will fight with stones.” The spirit of the young people fighting remained high, she related, but “this spirit alone cannot face rifles and machine guns. Rifles and machine guns without spirit are not worth very much, but spirit without arms can in time be broken with the body.” They needed arms and they needed them immediately.

“Our problem is time,” she emphasized. “Millions of dollars that we may get in three or four months will mean very little in deciding the present issue. The question is what can we get immediately. And, my friends, when I say immediately, this does not mean next month. It does not mean two months from now. It means now.”

She considered herself “not as a guest, but as one of you,” she told them, repeating the word “friends” several times. And without apology, she gave them the sum of between 25 and 30 million dollars in cash the yishuv needed in the next few weeks.


Prime Minister Golda Meir with Ambassador Yitzchak Rabin on board an El Al flight from Milwaukee to New York in February 1969. Wikimedia Commons

“We are not a better breed; we are not the best Jews of the Jewish people,” she said. “It so happened we are there and you are here. I am certain that if you were in Palestine and we were in the United States, you would be doing what we are doing there.”  Paraphrasing Winston Churchill, she promised that the yishuv in Palestine “will fight in the Negev and will fight in Galilee and will fight on the outskirts of Jerusalem until the very end.”

In closing, she gave the audience its charge: “You cannot decide whether we should fight or not. We will … That decision is taken.  Nobody can change it. You can only decide one thing: whether we shall be victorious in this fight or whether the mufti will be victorious. That decision American Jews can make.”

And, a final reminder: “I beg of you — don’t be too late. Don’t be bitterly sorry three months from now for what you failed to do today. The time is now.”

The talk lasted 35 minutes. “The normal noises of a great crowd were paralyzed,” a contemporary report of the event said. When she finished, the audience rose to its feet, some people weeping openly while they applauded. “Sometimes things occur, for reasons you don’t know why,” Montor recalled, “you don’t know what combination of words has done it, but an electric atmosphere generates. People are ready to kill somebody or to embrace each other. And that is still vivid in my mind, that particular afternoon … She had swept the whole conference.”

In her plain dark dress, without a speck of makeup, her hair austerely parted in the middle and pulled tightly back, she seemed to some like a woman out of the Bible. Others marveled at her “genius” for speaking without a prepared text. Her pauses, one man noted, were as meaningful as the words she used. The Dallas delegation — strongly non-Zionist — became so fired up that its members planned to “get so much money they won’t know what to do with it.”

By any measure, Chicago had been a triumph; her speech one of the best in her life.

Editor’s note: The speech led to a whirlwind, cross-country fund-raising tour, 17 cities in the first two weeks, raising $20 million for the Jewish Agency, three times more than the initial goal.

In early March, Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary that “the only ray of light for the present is Golda’s success.”

On her return to Palestine on March 19, Ben-Gurion praised her: “Someday when history will be written, it will be said that there was a Jewish woman who got the money which made the state possible.”


Her only regret, she would say, was that she and those with her had not had the courage to ask for twice as much as they had. Next time she would not hesitate.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

TRUMP’S IRAN FURY


  http://www.nysun.com/editorials/trumps-iran-fury/90097/


President Trump’s refusal to certify that Iran is complying with its nuclear deal came after he “threw a fit,” according to a source of the Washington Post. The president was, the Post reported, “incensed by the arguments of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and others that the landmark 2015 deal, while flawed, offered stability and other benefits.” That left Mr. Trump, the Post’s source said, “furious. Really furious.”

Well, why shouldn’t Mr. Trump have been furious? The Post seems to suggest that he is somehow unstable, a line that’s being hawked by the New York Times. By our lights he was right to blow his celebrated stack. He had run for president, after all, on a bright line promise to exit the Iran deal. The deal itself was entered into by President Obama and Secretary Kerry with the full knowledge that both houses of Congress were against it.

Not only that, they plunged ahead in the face of warnings by, in Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East. Nor was it just Israel’s right-of-center government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu. It was also the left-of-center opposition, the Zionist Union, which warned against the appeasement. Yet someone in the Obama administration — our own theory is that it was the president, though Secretary Kerry denied that — set down Israel’s leader as “chickenshit.”

Plus, too, Messrs. Obama and Kerry took the aforementioned articles of appeasement and brought them to New York City, where they asked the United Nations Security Council to approve the deal. They voted in the Security Council against what they knew to be the wishes of our own United States Congress. So where did Secretaries Tillerson and Mattis come off trying to maneuver Mr. Trump into certifying a deal he’d specifically opposed in his campaign?

In announcing his decision, Mr. Trump went back to the 1979 revolution and marked that the rule of the ayatollahs was imposed on Iran against its will (and reimposed in 2009 as Islamist thugs crushed a democratic spring while an American president stayed mute and did nothing). Mr. Trump also marked Iran’s orchestration of the bombings of our embassy and our Marine barracks at Beirut in 1983 and the bombing of American military housing in Saudi Arabia.


Good for him. If he blew his stack at Messrs. Tillerson and Mattis, he nonetheless threaded a careful route forward. The most important feature of it is that he has dialed the Congress back into the process. It is the custodian most of the foreign policy powers granted to the government, including the centerpiece power to regulate Commerce with foreign nations. It’s no small thing for the president to return this question to the body that should have had a chance to ratify. Let us hope the Congress can rise to the task.

THE REST OF THE RUSSIA STORY….
JUSTICE SHOULDN’T PROTECT THE FBI AND FUSION GPS FROM HOUSE SUBPOENAS.

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board   10-13-17


The House Intelligence Committee recently issued subpoenas to Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that paid for the dossier that contained allegations against then-candidate Donald Trump and ties to Russia. The dossier’s details have been either discredited or are unverified, but the document nonetheless framed the political narrative about Trump-Russian collusion that led to special counsel Robert Mueller.

Democrats and Fusion seem to care mostly that House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes issued the subpoenas, given that he officially recused himself from the Russia probe in April. But only the chairman is allowed to issue subpoenas, and Mr. Nunes did so at the request of Republican Mike Conaway, who is officially leading the probe.

The real question is why Democrats and Fusion seem not to want to tell the public who requested the dossier or what ties Fusion GPS boss Glenn Simpson had with the Russians in 2016. All the more so because congressional investigators have learned that Mr. Simpson was working for Russian clients at the same time he was working with Mr. Steele.

Americans deserve to know who paid Mr. Simpson for this work and if the Kremlin influenced the project. They also deserve to know if former FBI director James Comey relied on the dossier to obtain warrants to monitor the Trump campaign. If the Russians used disinformation to spur a federal investigation into a presidential candidate, that would certainly qualify as influencing an election.

The House committee also subpoenaed FBI documents about wiretap warrants more than a month ago but has been stonewalled. There is no plausible reason that senior leaders of Congress—who have top-level security clearance—can’t see files directly relevant to the question of Russian election interference.

Justice Department excuses about interfering with Mr. Mueller’s investigation don’t wash. Mr. Mueller is conducting a criminal probe, while Congress has a duty to oversee the executive branch. Both investigations can proceed simultaneously. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who supervises Mr. Mueller, needs to deputize specific Justice officials to handle Congress’s requests.

The media attacks on Mr. Nunes for issuing the subpoenas are a sign that he is onto something. He recused himself in April after complaints about his role bringing to light Obama Administration officials who “unmasked” and leaked the names of secretly wiretapped Trump officials. Mr. Nunes has since been vindicated as we’ve learned that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power did the unmasking. Yet Democrats on the House Ethics Committee have refused to clear Mr. Nunes—trying to keep him sidelined from the Russia probe.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has also pursued the Fusion GPS trail, but he could use House backup. Speaker Paul Ryan needs to call on the Ethics Committee to render a quick decision on Mr. Nunes or allow him to resume his Russia investigation. Mr. Ryan should also prepare to have the House vote on a contempt citation if the Justice Department doesn’t supply subpoenaed documents.


Mr. Mueller will grind away at the Trump-Russia angle, but the story of Democrats, the Steele dossier and Jim Comey’s FBI also needs telling. Americans don’t need a Justice Department coverup abetted by Glenn Simpson’s media buddies.

Friday, October 13, 2017

IRAN DEAL 10-13-17

1.    Currently, a large number of  conventional school civilian foreign policy analysts  [ as represented by Reuel Marc Gerecht and  Ray Takeyh and military analysts with outstanding credentials as represented by  General Charles F. Wald, USAF (ret.) ] support Pres. Trump’s  refusing to certify that Iran is  in  compliance with the nuclear agreement

 Fatemeh Bolouri Kashani,  Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan’s widow  stated publicly that her late husband’s “ 24-hour a day driving passion  was  the destruction of Israel ” Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency interviewed Fatemeh Bolouri Kashanithe  widow of Mostafa Ahmadi Moshan , the  Iranian Scientist who was assassinated in Tehran in January.[ 2012].  She said, said Tuesday that her husband “sought the annihilation of the Zionist regime wholeheartedly,” — leaving no doubt as to nuclear program’s goal.

Amir Hossein Motaghi confirmed that the destruction of Israel was the ultimate goal the Iranian nuclear program and that Iran is very willing to delay its program in order to obtain certainty in their  route  to developing a protected nuclear/missile force of a  size sufficient to protect it from  a preemptive attack..

2.HOW TO DEFEAT THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC
By Reuel Marc Gerecht and  Ray Takeyh WALL STREET JOURNAL 10-11-17 Mr. Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracy. Mr. Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. IRAN’S REGIME RESEMBLES THE SOVIET UNION IN ITS DYING DAYS. TRUMP CAN FOLLOW REAGAN’S EXAMPLE.

3.  IRAN MUST BE DENUCLEARIZED
Robert R. Monroe - - WASHINGTON TIMES  October 11, 2017  Navy VIce Admiral (Ret) Robert R. Monro, is the former director of the Defense Nuclear Agency.  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/11/iran-must-be-denuclearized/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

4.ENDING AMERICA'S PARALYZED IRAN POLICY Jonathan Schanzer THE ATLANTIC  10-11-17   https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/10/iran-nuclear-deal-trump-decertification/542520/?003eactnnfd4  DECERTIFYING THE NUCLEAR DEAL WITHOUT WALKING AWAY GIVES THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AN OPENING TO CONFRONT THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC’S FOREIGN MEDDLING.

5.CONFRONTING THE FULL RANGE OF IRANIAN THREATS  Statement of General Charles F. Wald, USAF (ret.) Co-Chair, JINSA  Iran Task Force Hearing on CONFRONTING THE FULL RANGE OF IRANIAN THREATS to United States House Foreign Affairs Committee 10-11-17  http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA00/20171011/106500/HHRG-115-FA00-Bio-WaldC-20171011.pdf


6   IF THE U.S. DECIDES TO REIMPOSE SANCTIONS ON IRAN, ITS ALLIES WILL COME AROUND  https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/2017/10/if-the-u-s-decides-to-reimpose-sanctions-on-iran-its-allies-will-come-around/


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Statement of General Charles F. Wald, USAF (ret.) Co-Chair, JINSA Gemunder Center Iran Task Force Hearing on CONFRONTING THE FULL RANGE OF IRANIAN THREATS United States House Foreign Affairs Committee October 11, 2017 
Introduction 
Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Engel, Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss responses to the full range of threats posed by Iran. I have followed Iran closely throughout my career, including in my current capacity as co-chair of the Iran Task Force at JINSA’s Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy. This summer, on the two-year anniversary of the announcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), our Task Force issued a comprehensive report on the need to restore U.S. credibility and leverage for confronting the gamut of Iran’s menacing behaviors.1 However, I want to stress that my views expressed here today are my own. 
Understandably, much of the current debate focuses on Iran’s dubious compliance with the JCPOA, and whether continued adherence to the deal serves our national interests. Our JINSA Task Force has been an outspoken critic of this agreement. It creates a dangerous strategic imbalance by giving Tehran great financial, military and geopolitical benefits, while robbing the United States of the pressures we had built previously against Iran. ANY COHERENT STRATEGY AGAINST IRAN MUST PRIORITIZE RESTORING OUR LOST LEVERAGE, and I applaud this committee’s efforts to examine the range of options available to us and our allies. 
Iran’s Growing Military Threat 
THE SHORTCOMINGS OF THE JCPOA ARE NUMEROUS AND WELL-KNOWN. SUFFICE TO SAY, THE DEAL PLACES IRAN ON A TRAJECTORY TO BECOME AS INTRACTABLE A CHALLENGE AS NORTH KOREA IS TODAY – AND VERY POSSIBLY WORSE. INDEED, WHILE PYONGYANG’S RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS HAS ONLY DEEPENED ITS ISOLATION AND DRIVEN IT TOWARD BANKRUPTCY, THE JCPOA IS DOING THE OPPOSITE FOR IRAN. 
1 JINSA Gemunder Center Iran Task Force, “Strategy to Restore U.S. Leverage Against Iran,” July 2017, available at: http://www.jinsa.org/publications/strategy-restore-us-leverage-against-iran
This committee is well aware of the JCPOA’s literal costs: an estimated $115 billion in unfrozen assets back under Tehran’s control since day one, plus an additional $1.7 billion ransom for U.S. hostages.2 Since then, the added dividends of sanctions relief have flowed directly to the lucrative economic sectors controlled by the regime and its hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The capital and technology from renewed foreign investment is already translating to increased spending on ballistic missiles and IRGC operations in places like Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
Beyond providing more funds, the JCPOA also effectively legalizes Iran’s ambitious military buildup in coming years. Even before the deal, Tehran already possessed the region’s largest arsenals of nuclear-capable ballistic and cruise missiles. By removing the previous legally-binding ban on test launches, U.N. Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231 gives Iran, and specifically the IRGC, a major opportunity to advance these capabilities and intimidate our regional allies. 
No more than three years from now, the U.N. conventional arms embargo on Iran will also disappear, opening the country’s defense-industrial base to the international market and enriching the IRGC as an arms dealer. Tehran is already tipping the scales in conflicts across the region with largely outdated military equipment. The IRGC’s ability to inflict heavy costs on U.S. and allied forces, and possibly deny our access to the region altogether, will grow significantly as it augments its air defenses, fast attack craft, missile boat, submarines, unmanned vehicles, mines, radars and short-range missiles. 
No more than three years after that, the same U.N. resolution will permit the IRGC to access highly-advanced missile technology, materials and financing from abroad. This will aid its development of more sophisticated and accurate delivery vehicles, including intermediate-range (IRBM) and intercontinental (ICBM) ballistic missiles capable of targeting the heart of Europe and the U.S. homeland. Because this will occur shortly before the JCPOA allows Iran to ramp up its enrichment capacity, Tehran could push for ICBMs around the same it approaches nuclear weapons capability – effectively giving it a direct nuclear deterrent against the United States before the agreement even sunsets. 
Rising Iranian Aggression Under JCPOA 
Iran is already moving more directly and brazenly against U.S. interests and our allies. This stems in part from what the JCPOA does: it removes the aforementioned restrictions on Tehran’s power projection resources. Yet this also results from what the JCPOA represents: the weakening of U.S. credibility to push back as Iran aggravates the growing security vacuum in the Middle East. 
2 U.S. Department of the Treasury Press Center, “Written Testimony of Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence to U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, August 5, 2015.
3 Thomas Erdbrink, “Iranian Parliament, Facing U.S. sanctions, Votes to Raise Military Spending,” New York Times August 13, 2017. 
Since day one of the deal, this has been evident in Iran’s defiant upsurge in ballistic missile tests, including more accurate and mobile multi-stage missiles with reentry vehicles better suited for nuclear warheads – and more difficult to intercept than older Iranian versions. In June, Tehran even fired ballistic missiles in combat for the first time since the Iran-Iraq War, when the IRGC launched a salvo from Iranian soil into Syria.
Also for the first time in decades, Iran is at daggers drawn with U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf. It is assisting its Houthi proxy in Yemen with attacks on U.S. ships and our allies – including a steady hail of ballistic missiles targeting Saudi cities and bases. Flush with rising revenues from sanctions relief, Iran is also consolidating control over the heart of the Middle East and directly undermining U.S. efforts to stabilize Syria and Iraq. 
Throughout these conflicts, both the IRGC – which enjoys an increasingly central role in Iranian policymaking – and its terrorist proxy Hezbollah are transforming themselves into more professional, expeditionary combined-arms forces. Consequently, Iran can now intervene decisively to alter the course of conflicts across the region and establish new beachheads to threaten U.S. allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia. 
Simply put, even if Iran does not materially breach the JCPOA, the deal already is a boon to its destabilizing regional ambitions, and a strategic disaster for the United States. 
Rebuilding Leverage Against Iran 
American policymakers must now develop a coherent set of responses to reverse this untenable strategic imbalance, before it continues from bad to worse. As we laid out in our recent Iran Task Force report, this calls for a comprehensive strategy, utilizing every element of American power, to rebuild and apply counter-pressure against the full spectrum of Iran’s destabilizing behaviors. Time is of the essence, especially since any nuclear-related sanctions that Congress might snap back or enact would require time as much as anything else – time that Iran could otherwise spend breaking out or retaliating outside the nuclear program.
Our Task Force articulated recommendations to begin imposing costs on Iran’s most threatening behaviors, and to restore U.S. credibility damaged by the JCPOA: 
1. Develop Credible U.S. Military Leverage 
I applaud this committee for its years of tireless effort to increase pressure on Iran and Hezbollah through sanctions. Such measures are necessary, but their message and their impact must be reinforced with military leverage. 
4 CSIS Missile Defense Project, available at: https://missilethreat.csis.org/missile/emad/ (accessed October 5, 2017).
5 JINSA Gemunder Center Iran Task Force, “Strategy to Restore U.S. Leverage Against Iran,” July 2017, pp. 25-32. 
  • American officials should prepare – and make clear they are preparing – contingency plans to defend the United States and its allies from further Iranian tests of nuclear-capable missiles. This must include unequivocal threats to shoot down future tests if necessary.
  • Undertake concrete military preparations for responding to these and other Iranian military challenges, including forward-deploying part of our Aegis- equipped missile defense fleet to the Persian Gulf (like we already do in Europe and East Asia). Whether Iran adheres to the JCPOA or not, Congress should consider requiring the Pentagon adopt these changes as part of a broader reassessment of U.S. force posture and contingency planning for the region.
  • Leverage international law in defending our forces and maritime traffic against Iran’s increasingly aggressive and illegal behavior at sea. Existing rules of engagement (ROE) permit much more forceful responses to IRGC naval forces’ demonstrated hostile intent than our current restraint suggests.
  • Ensure the United States has a post-ISIS strategy and force presence in Syria. This is crucial to prevent Iran, Hezbollah and their proxies from dictating that country’s future. It will also impose obstacles to their evolving land bridge that would run directly from Iran to the Mediterranean and Lebanon.
2. Assemble a Regional Coalition Against Iran 

  • Augment the new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defense aid to Israel by removing artificial Obama-era caps on missile defense assistance. The new MoU must be treated as the floor, not the ceiling, for bilateral cooperation against Iran’s and Hezbollah’s growing presence and capabilities on Israel’s northern borders.
  • Work with our Gulf allies Saudi Arabia and U.A.E. to develop a robust, multi- layered theater missile defense architecture, and potentially help facilitate the transfer of advanced Israeli missile defense systems to these countries – both of which confront Iran on their front and back doorsteps. American policymakers should also seriously consider explicit military backing for these two countries to defend against further Iranian encroachment.
  • Ensure interoperability of U.S. and Gulf air and maritime defenses to counter Iran’s growing anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) threat under the JCPOA.
    Regardless of the JCPOA’s future, these measures will demonstrate American resolve – both to Tehran and our concerned allies – that we will roll back Iranian aggression and deter or deny the hardline regime from advancing toward nuclear weapons capability.
    I thank you Mr. Chairman for my time, and I look forward to the Committee’s questions.
IRAN MUST BE DENUCLEARIZED
Robert R. Monroe - - WASHINGTON TIMES  October 11, 2017

 Navy VIce Admiral (Ret) Robert R. Monro, is the former director of the Defense Nuclear Agency.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/11/iran-must-be-denuclearized/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS


America must not permit Iran to produce nuclear weapons. If a rogue state, the world’s No. 1 supporter of terrorism, is allowed to go into the production of nuclear weapons, no other state can be denied them. Proliferation — in self-defense — will go wild, and the result will be a world of nuclear horror and chaos, from which there is no return. Here’s how it will happen — and how it can be avoided.

The Iran nuclear agreement, formally titled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, makes Iran a threshold nuclear weapons state. Iran must wait only a few years and it will be permitted to produce nuclear weapons. Mideast politics cannot permit Iran to be the sole regional possessor — not with their record of arming and directing proxies such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis or even the Taliban. Already, other states (e.g., Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt) are making covert preparations to go nuclear.

Given the tinderbox nature of the Mideast today — Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Kurdish regions, ISIS, Iraq, Yemen — the nuclear proliferation race will be intense. It will be accelerated by three factors: first, the regional nuclear fright in Northeast Asia, where North Korea’s neighbors, such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, are developing nuclear plans, technologies, personnel and resources; second, the increasing availability of fissile material from reactor growth in developing nations (some of which is intended for weapons purposes); and third, the startlingly rapid increase in international availability of intercontinental ballistic missile technology. No state will be safe without nukes.

Proliferation will be rapid. By 2030, we will have spurted from eight to about 20 nuclear weapons states, mostly our allies, which formerly relied on the deteriorating U.S. nuclear umbrella. By 2040, expect to see about 30 nations with nukes, as high-tech countries rush to protect themselves. By mid-century the count will be about 40, as the leading Third World countries proliferate. Nukes will be everywhere, unrecognized, uncounted and many unprotected. And the count will continue to rise. Nuclear weapons will be available for seizure and use by aggressors, terrorists, criminals, failed and failing states, even extortionists. The world will be marked by ruined, radioactive, deserted cities, large and small.

Is there any hope? Yes. But it requires immediate, forceful action by America. We must use military force to prevent Iran — and North Korea — from developing nuclear weapons.

Immediately withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement. Formally advise Iran that if it does not dismantle all its nuclear facilities, we will do it with military force. As an initial element of the negotiating process, demolish the Natanz uranium enrichment facility. Be generous with the carrots, but use the stick without delay if needed. As Iran is denuclearized, the world will rejoice. Hopes for nonproliferation will surge.

Strike North Korea hard (electric power plants, communication networks, known nuclear and launch sites, leadership sites, artillery and missile sites targeting Seoul. Offer the populace a better life than they have ever known if they help.

The damage and casualties incurred in these two actions is tiny as compared to the catastrophe these two rogues will inflict through proliferation.

By these two actions America will have temporarily stopped proliferation. There is now time for us to make nonproliferation permanent.

The single fault in the landmark Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) is that its creators were not able to agree on any mechanism to prevent proliferation. They did, however, take a giant step in that direction by creating two tiers of states: five approved nuclear weapons states (permanent members of the U.N. Security Council); and the balance (currently 185) who signed as non-nuclear weapons states.

A half-century of NPT experience has now proved that nonproliferation requires enforcement. America must now take on the intense, decades-long diplomatic effort to convince the world that these five must be accorded the responsibility of enforcing nonproliferation, collegially or individually. It is a fitting challenge for America’s foreign policy. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty must also be made nonapplicable to these five, so they will have the unquestioned power, as well as the responsibility, to enforce nonproliferation.

The world can remain stable at eight states with nukes, and future diplomacy can work to make it five.

America has the capability to show the world how to live comfortably with nuclear weapons for the long term. Do we have the will?

• Robert R. Monroe, a retired U.S. Navy vice admiral, is the former director of the Defense Nuclear Agency.