Adm. Mullen pessimistic about Iran strike
A military strike will not completely stop Iran's nuclear program, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said in a Pentagon briefing on Monday."No strike, however effective, will be in and of itself decisive," Admiral Mike Mullen said, adding that he supported using diplomatic and economic pressure against Iran.
Iran's uranium enrichment, in defiance of several rounds of Security Council sanctions, has spurred world powers to consider tougher diplomatic measures, against the backdrop of threatened military action by Israel as a last resort.
When asked on what steps the U.S. intended to take to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters Monday that Washington was "continuing to look at other steps that we can take both multilaterally and prospectively on a national basis."Crowley added that the U.S. was "looking at the full range of possibilities."
"We want to see effective sanctions that have the impact that we want to put pressure on Iran. And as the Secretary has said, we will be paying specific attention to the Revolutionary Guard Corps that is playing a more - a growing role in Iranian society and in the Iranian economy," Crowley said.
Earlier Monday, a nuclear energy official said that Iran has already earmarked potential sites for new nuclear enrichment plants and construction of two of them could begin this year.
"We have earmarked close to 20 sites and have passed the report on those to the president, however, these sites are only potential," Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization, was quoted as saying on news agency ISNA....I have long suggested that just hitting the nuclear sites will not be enough to stop Iran or prevent counter strikes. We need to have a comprehensive and sustained attack that hits Iran's military assets early ad often. That would include her missile sites and naval assets. If Iran tries to strike Gulf shipping or shut the Strait of Hormuz the targets should be expanded to hit her oil production facilities and refineries. Crippling Iran's economy further would make it harder for her to devote resources to her nuclear facilities.
Targeting Syria can also weaken Iran and draw resources the Guard forces would rather have at home. It also weakens Iran's Hezballah proxy forces and makes it more difficult for Iran to resupply them for their planned attacks on Israel.
Obviously Israel does not have the resources for a sustained attack on Iran, unless it gets some help from other Gulf countries and the US. It just might get that help if Iran lashes out as it has threatened.