Tag Archives: Grand Bargain

NIE Debacle: Benefits of Game Changing Diplomacy Backed by Game Changing Intel

Back in late 2007, I wasn’t alone while tripping out over what was clearly highly politicized intelligence. The American National Intelligence Estimate released on Iran at the time went against the prominent views of the US Bush administration, the NIE released just prior in 2005, and stood in contrast to the intelligence estimates of a number of key western allies; Including Israel, the UK, Germany and even France.

The NIE made the absurd claim that Iran had ceased the military dimensions of its nuclear program. Worse it did so in the cagiest of manners with buried footnotes, selective declassified wording, topped off with media briefings. It resulted in a derailing of effective US policy on the Iranian issue buying Iran plenty of precious time, a respite which continues.

Dishonest sorta means lying doesn’t it?

Alan Dershorwitz writes..

In December of 2007, I wrote an article about the National Intelligence Estimate that had just concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program back in 2003. The immediate effect of this pollyanna-ish report was to diminish the need for tough sanctions against Iran and take the military option off the table. We now know that the conclusion reached in the report was categorically false, and that those who issued the report knew it was false. [...]

It now turns out that at the time this “stupid intelligence” estimate was released, our intelligence agencies were aware that the Iranians were building a secret military facility buried deep in the mountains near the holy city of Qom. The United States recently disclosed the existence of this facility (after Iran was forced to acknowledge its existence) together with its firm conclusion that it could be used only for the development of a nuclear weapons program. If the intelligence community knew then what they know now, then its 2007 National Intelligence Estimate was not only stupid, it was dishonest.

Pretty damning, and justifiably so. Ed at Hotair commenting on a scathing WSJ Opinion piece, states matter of factly that it seems clear enough bureaucrats at US intelligence pulled off a full fledged sabotage of then President Bush’s foreign policy..

As Glenn Reynolds says, the NIE has been exposed as an effort by a handful of people at the CIA to kneecap Bush on national security. It deliberately misled Congress and the nation on the threat posed by Iran, a lie that has cost us valuable time in stopping the nuclear threat. If Iran gets the bomb, we can thank Tom Fingar and his colleagues for distracting the US long enough to allow them to do so.

Jennifer Rubin goes right to the source, raising a number of questions while commenting on remarks by CIA Director Leon Panetta to Time Magazine – She concludes..

Both the 2007 NIE report and the behavior of the Obama administration betray a concerted aversion to confronting Iran and doing what is needed to halt its nuclear ambitions.

Game Changing Diplomacy

Questions which tie in the current administration seem apt. The politicization of the intelligence had an important role supporting and nourishing the floating think tank engagement theories which were emerging. Those theories have become the hallmark of Obama’s foreign policy strategy, and called for ‘putting the military option in the drawer’. The think tanks termed it Game Changing Diplomacy, after a brief by The Center For A New American Security (CNAS) on US Iranian strategy in 2008. CNAS members then went on to staff Obama’s administration in a big way, including  the Deputy Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy.

Today, CNAS policies are closely associated with the Obama White House, so it should come as no shock that the Game Changing Diplomacy / Grand bargain strategy has become the blue print for Obama on Iran. However, it is somewhat shocking that apparently part of the effort to usher in ‘Game changing diplomacy’, may have involved a little nudging best effectuated by ‘game changing intelligence’.

A game that seemingly has continued to this day.

* UPD - I futzed with the title a bit and corrected a typo.

Squeeze Play: Iran Tries the ‘Old Israel Switcheroo’ with America

Thanks.. But No Thanks

Plenty of action on the rogue regime front this week, with Iran delivering what it calls a ‘new proposal’ to the p5+1 for “Negotiations”. There are a number of interesting aspects to this proposal.

Chiefly among them is the fact that Iran has flatly refused to discuss or cease its nuclear program, or table uranium enrichment issues which constitutes the number one demand from the West.

Clearly, this is a stalling & delay tactic. But the Iranians in charge over there in Iranistan are a clever bunch. They’ve zeroed in specifically on comments made by the Obama administration, and used them to their own advantage in order to build on some unlikely allies – The hard left in the US and even within Obama’s own administration. The proposal has been leaked and within we can glean some interesting insight into Iran’s squeeze play..

The proposal, submitted by Teheran on Wednesday to representatives of the P5+1 group of nations – - the US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – says Iran is prepared to enter into dialog and negotiation in order to lay the ground for lasting peace. It lists a wide range of issues for discussion, including nuclear disarmament, trade and investment and protecting human dignity.

Although the proposal makes no mention of Israel, it calls for “joint efforts and interactions to help the people of Palestine draw up a comprehensive, democratic and equitable plan in order to help the people of Palestine to achieve all-embracing peace, lasting security and to secure their fundamental rights.”

It also calls for “promoting the universality of the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” and “putting into action real and fundamental programs toward complete disarmament and preventing the development and proliferation of nuclear chemical and microbial weapons.” [...]

Iran seizes on issues publicly declared by Obama as priorities, cynically portends to be champions of these issues while attempting to replace itself in the hot seat with Israel. The complete disarmament mentioned is in regards to ALL nuclear weapons on the planet, a stated (somewhat absurd) pet project of President Obama himself, and a clear call to focus on Israel’s own nuclear capabilities. The innocent Iranian regime playing international moral leader.

Even more classic, this is exactly what apologists for the Iranian regime want to hear. Iran is clearly banking on those same apologists to be champions in their delay tactics. Lacking any credibility internationally whatsoever of late, the hard left & those that champion engagement with no real end game are Iran’s only outlet. So Iran lays it on mighty thick just for them, with ample bait to the softies in the Obama administration to boot!

Apparently in some quarters it is already working..

According to the document, “The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that within the framework of principles of justice, democracy and multilateralism, a wide range of security, political, economic and cultural issues at regional and global levels could be included in these negotiations with a view of fostering constructive cooperation for advancement of nations and promotion of peace and stability in the region and the world.”

The US and Russia were at odds on Thursday over Teheran’s proposals, with American officials saying they fall short of satisfying international demands, and the Russians saying there was something to talk about. [...]

Justice, Democracy MULTILATERALISM. All the buzzwords and music to engagement eager grand bargainers ears are hear.  In return for some appeasement everything can be magically solved! Security, political, economic problems, cultural issues.. PEACE ON EARTH!!!

This is some pretty devious & clever stuff. Iran delays for 8 months after previously delaying in talks for 6 years, and just as things look ugly for them sanction wise they pull the steak off the table entirely, while baiting the biggest suckers with all the trimmings instead.

All the while the not so subtle offering of a juicy dessert for Iran & its proponents – the focus on Israel in particular, in combination with a cynical play on Obama’s own declared sensitivities regarding nuclear weapons, disarmament and overall Hope & Change. This US Admin already lit a fire under the Israel nuclear pot this spring, Iran is just stepping up & stirring it. After all, how could they disregard that very large Obama gift? Instead they’ve wrapped it in a pretty hope & change bow & re-gifted it right back.

Obama’s Administration is vulnerable

In a normal world we could dismiss it all out of hand, but so far US foreign policy is not operating in a normal world. Months of engagement failure have only now just barely begun to contain Obama’s hope & delusion. Most of that reality slowly creeping in is as a result of Congressional & European displeasure, not any overt acknowledgment that the policy is naive despite the protestations of Denis Ross.

The door is still wide open, and even the September deadline is already slipping back to 2010 in regards to implementing any sanctions. If Iran’s play can whip up enough support in the ‘US engagement at all costs community’ with their little switcheroo – We could be right back at square one, and Iran will be pleased as punch along with having the ability to deliver a nuclear one.

Missile Threat: Iranian Sejil-2 Will Challenge Israel’s Missile Shield & American Policy (Video)

Iran is progressing at alarming speed

In late 2007, Iran tested a new modified Shahab-3 based ballistic missile known as Ghadr-1. Key elements of the Ghadr were:

  • An improved cone / warhead housing capable of multiple warhead delivery per missile.
  • 2 stages, a liquid fueled booster with a solid rocket fuel second stage.
  • Domestically produced.
At the time I thought that this was going to be the mass production version of Iran’s new missile fleet personally. They had already made such big advancements in the Ghadr compared to the Shahabs, it seemed likely that this entirely domestically produced weapon would be a huge step up and fit Iran’s needs nicely. The addition of the solid rocket fueled top most stage and new cone design would enable the Iranian rocket to carry WMD, which is clearly the goal of Iran’s Nuclear Program – Nuclear Weapons.
Iranian Ghadr-1 on its 1st public display in Iran (AFP)
Iranian Ghadr-1 on its 1st public display in Iran (AFP)

Sejil

Iran successfuly tests the Sejil-2 this past week

Iran successfully tests the Sejil-2 this past week

In late 2008, a mere year later Iran tested the Sejil class of missile. The Sejil is an advanced Ghadr, instead of a liquid fueled base stage the new missile featured two full stages powered by solid rocket fuels. Eliminating the liquid fuel entirely was another huge step. Volatile, unstable, and requiring on site fueling before any launch the graduation from liquid to solid fuel severely ups the ante and threat level of Iranian missiles. Enabling Iran to mass produce, fuel, and safely store vast swaths of nuclear capable long range missiles for protected launches from underground silos, or mobile launching on truck platforms. Equally troubling, the switch allows for faster more stable missile flights.

Sejil-2

Mere months later, now in May 2009 Iran again tested a new missile. Reasons this recent test is all the more provocative include;

  • Further advances in sensors / guidance for accuracy.
  • The culmination of Iran’s drive for a domestically procurable multi stage solid fuel ballistic missile that can be nuclear capable, all produced start to finish within Iran.
  • Joint mockery along with the North Koreans of the President of the United States, and his engagement with rogue regime theories.
  • The push to out-pace Missile Defense.


Video of Iran’s Latest Ballistic Missile Test – Sejil2

Suspect Motives

What alarms me and should engender the same reaction in others is that the Ghadr was well suited for production it seemed. It met the basic needs of Iran for a new superior ballistic missile capable of being mass produced in Iran, a substantial upgrade in every way over their existing missile fleet. Instead, it was only a step along the way to a much more accurate, much faster, and more capable delivery system. This suggests to me that the Iranians don’t seek to deter as much as they seek to eventually do ‘serious damage’ with their missiles and WMD. Instead of racing to build, they raced to make the threat substantially more lethal.

Equally alarming, the pace. Iran is simply put racing ahead. At this rate CIA & Pentagon estimates for the Iranian Missile threats are SERIOUSLY themselves obsolete. I am sorry to say this, but as usual the US intelligence community will seemingly be again ‘surprised’ when they come to grips with how radically off base they are in regards to time-frames and these threats. Iran has in the last year achieved space launch, solid fuel boosters, enhanced accuracy & range which puts these missiles beyond Israel and into Europe, and is now arguably fine tuning an ability to defeat US & Israeli based missile defense platforms with this new Sejil-2 due to its speed and multiple warheads.

President is badly advised & mistaken

American estimates regarding a domestic threat posed by Iranian missiles originally looking at 2025 were narrowed to earliest 2015 by generals at the Pentagon, that’s quite a jump. It means American estimates were a full decade off, by off we mean WRONG. But even this 2015 date now seems conservative. At the rate they are progressing and the crystal clear proliferation path going on between North Korea & Iran, ICBMs from these rogue regimes will very shortly pose a substantial nuclear weapons threat to the world, including American cities.

Further, this habit of being wrong as exhibited by other ‘surprises’ like underground nuclear weapons tests this week, admittedly erroneous Nation Intelligence Estimates for both Iraq, and now also in 2007 regarding Iran’s nuclear program, lead one to naturally assume the odds of America being surprised & wrong again regarding Iranian nuclear weapons capability are also quite high, meaning it could surprise America much faster than is currently thought, estimates which are more in line with Israeli intelligence.

Leisurely Pace

One might think that in light of these realities, in light of the fact that it is now very questionable whether American or Israeli deployed missile defense platforms could currently without advancement themselves counter these faster, more accurate, multiple warhead, mass produce-able, solid rocket missiles – Someone might wake up?

Combined with the speed & pace of Iranian progression and the abysmal track record of western intelligence, one wonders why the President of the United States, his entire administration, and his democratic allies in the US House & Senate are all sitting on their asses & taking their sweet time doing little to nothing? No deadlines, no pressure, no sanctions, missile defense cuts, appeasement – I like many others am wondering what world exactly is President Obama living in, because it is certainly not the real world..

Link Update:

Ed looks at former Sec Def William Cohen, who himself is scratching his head wondering why multiple kill (a counter to multiple warhead missiles) and other missile defense technologies are being cut in Obama’s multi trillion dollar budgets?! Ed himself is focused on Noko tests and launches in the post, but the emphasis on rogue regimes is clear, these Iranian missiles are developed, built & tested based on N. Korean proliferation technology.

In the face of Pyongyang’s intransigence, we should be escalating our missile-defense research and deployment, and make a big show of it.  We should take shots at the next missile Kim launches to make the point; [...]

Indeed, yet somehow I can’t shake the feeling that in this administration there is a higher likelihood we will shortly settle the outer galaxy, than see a US missile defense launch against a rogue regime live test target. Seems like we will have to settle for sending out poor Mrs. Clinton to the podium to make a few short statements in angry diplospeak, couched in calls to return to six party talks. This hardly instills much confidence in America’s allies abroad, I can’t imagine it being any more comforting to Americans themselves.

Israels Arrow-2 was the 1st national & deployed Anti Ballistic Missile Defense System

Israel's Arrow-2 ABM

Next Gen

 

I should add that the hundred million dollars funding package for Israel’s continued Arrow-3 development has been approved by the USA in its current budget framework, maybe jointly we can come up with a more ‘rigorous’ response to these growing threats, one at least hopes.. As mentioned, we will all require advancements in our current systems & software to challenge & out-pace these newest missiles.

Mad Socialists: Brit leader advocates US blowing Israeli planes out of the sky to defend Iran

Reminding me why I am a conservative..

David Owen, former foreign Secretary of Britain in the late 70′s and then leader of the socialist democrats in the UK goes full on Jimmy Carter in this absurd piece of opinion in order to buttress his frankly detached from reality views, maybe he is channeling Barack Obama? I hear that is popular these days.

Not only does he advocate near total surrender to Iran’s every whim, but in a cruel twist of Irony he is not opposed to force as most leftists usually are. He supports the use of force indeed, just not against Iran.. Instead he advocates the President of the United States announce publicly that the US will defend air corridors to Iran and engage militarily with its chief ally Israel! Yes, you read that correctly – Shoot down Israeli fighter jets on any mission to Iran.

[...] Bush’s legacy would be best served by taking dramatic diplomatic action to prevent a war with Iran. He should publicly warn Israel that the United States will use its air power to prevent it bombing Iran, while announcing that he is sending Rice to Tehran to start negotiating a grand bargain whereby all sanctions would be lifted if Iran forgoes the nuclear weapons option. [...]

Parallel Universe

I guess the left really does live in a mirror universe where up is down & black is white. In Owen’s world Iran & the US are the allies, and Israel is the pariah nation. America should not threaten force on Iran, but it is justified in doing so against its ally Israel. In Owen’s world Iran is eager to deal with everyone, its is the lack of leadership by President Bush which is preventing peace on earth & love toward all.

Thankfully Iran has announced its own pre-conditions to the USA before any negotiations can take place and they coincidentally fall right in line with Owen’s worldview. Iran is calling for the total withdrawal of all US military forces from the entire Middle East, and the end of US support for Israel as its pre-conditions..

Hmm, Owen you are a genius! Maybe on the way out of the Middle East in compliance with Iran’s demands for a ‘grand-bargain’, America could take it a step further and simply attack / destroy all of Israel while the Supercarriers are sailing by, thus filling the entire Iranian condition slate in one go. I’m sure the USS Reagan, the Nimitz, The USS H.W Bush, the Eisenhower, etc and all the great leaders these marvelous powerhouse ships are named after would highly approve..

Amazingly enough, I couldn’t find any ships named after another ‘great’ leader – Neville Chamberlain, I wonder why that is?