Robert Gates made clear this morning that he does not see the Iranian problem as one that can be solved principally by military means:
“WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday that diplomacy and sanctions rather than military action are the way to persuade Iran to change its nuclear program as divisions emerge in the Iranian leadership.
Iran’s nuclear dispute with the West intensified last week after Tehran disclosed that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant.
“While you don’t take options off the table, I think there’s still room left for diplomacy,” Gates said on CNN’s Sunday program “State of the Union.”
The Pentagon chief said military force would only gain time but not convince Iranians to abandon their quest for nuclear weapons.”
I find it fascinating that politicians don’t realize that military action in Iran would only increase the risk of terrorism from groups such as Hezbollah.
I do disagree with Gates, however, on issuing sanctions on Iran, though. Sanctions would only internalize their conflict with the rest of the world and would rally the public around the Iranian government. Essentially, it would give Iranians a reason to bind together around a specific cause; American intervention.
And obviously, the fact that we can’t afford another conflict doesn’t seem to cross their minds.
Source: Below the Beltway