US fighting back against Iranians at war with us

Washington Post:

The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran's influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to government and counterterrorism officials with direct knowledge of the effort.

For more than a year, U.S. forces in Iraq have secretly detained dozens of suspected Iranian agents, holding them for three to four days at a time. The "catch and release" policy was designed to avoid escalating tensions with Iran and yet intimidate its emissaries. U.S. forces collected DNA samples from some of the Iranians without their knowledge, subjected others to retina scans, and fingerprinted and photographed all of them before letting them go.

Last summer, however, senior administration officials decided that a more confrontational approach was necessary, as Iran's regional influence grew and U.S. efforts to isolate Tehran appeared to be failing. The country's nuclear work was advancing, U.S. allies were resisting robust sanctions against the Tehran government, and Iran was aggravating sectarian violence in Iraq.

"There were no costs for the Iranians," said one senior administration official. "They are hurting our mission in Iraq, and we were bending over backwards not to fight back."


... for three years, the Iranians have operated an embedding program there, offering operational training, intelligence and weaponry to several Shiite militias connected to the Iraqi government, to the insurgency and to the violence against Sunni factions. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the director of the CIA, told the Senate recently that the amount of Iranian-supplied materiel used against U.S. troops in Iraq "has been quite striking."

"Iran seems to be conducting a foreign policy with a sense of dangerous triumphalism," Hayden said.

The new "kill or capture" program was authorized by President Bush in a meeting of his most senior advisers last fall, along with other measures meant to curtail Iranian influence from Kabul to Beirut and, ultimately, to shake Iran's commitment to its nuclear efforts. Tehran insists that its nuclear program is peaceful, but the United states and other nations say it is aimed at developing weapons.


The White House has authorized a widening of what is known inside the intelligence community as the "Blue Game Matrix" -- a list of approved operations that can be carried out against the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon. And U.S. officials are preparing international sanctions against Tehran for holding several dozen al-Qaeda fighters who fled across the Afghan border in late 2001. They plan more aggressive moves to disrupt Tehran's funding of the radical Palestinian group Hamas and to undermine Iranian interests among Shiites in western Afghanistan.

There is more.

I am glad to see such a program, but see no reason for it to be made public unless someone wants to undercut it or use its existence to put further pressure on Iran. Iran has been at war with the US since 1979. It is about time we start fighting back. The arrogance of the Ahmadinejab regime has finally provoked a response. Hopefully it is one that will escalate.

We also need to find a way to target the weapons facilities that are producing the IED's that Iran is exporting to the enemy in Iraq. There is no reason to permit those facilities to exist. We need to find a way to support the internal enemies of Iran's religious bigots.

Apparently US and British special forces are targeting the Iranians. Early reports had mentioned Task Force 16 as having that mission. One of the prime targets of the new strategy is the Iranian Quds force which is their world wide terrorism arm similar to al Qaeda. The primary targets are in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the Palestinian territories. I suspect that the Sunni Arab countries are cooperating in this effort.

Update: Bill Roggio also has commentary on the war with Iran.


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