Sep 3, 2007

Pretty Impressive Placement

Coinciding with the demanding "the surge is working" Iraq narrative, the perception management shop has managed to place another anti-Iran Info Op piece in a top British paper.

The Sunday Times is not a marginal forum -- like one might find in Jordan, or the Gulf States (or India, for that matter) -- where a junior embassy officer would be expected to be able to plant this type of pressure piece against one of our adversaries.

The Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians' military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.

Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for "pinprick strikes" against Iran’s nuclear facilities. "They're about taking out the entire Iranian military," he said.

Debat was speaking at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: "Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same." It was, he added, a "very legitimate strategic calculus". ...

One Washington source said the "temperature was rising" inside the administration. Bush was "sending a message to a number of audiences", he said -- to the Iranians and to members of the United Nations security council who are trying to weaken a tough third resolution on sanctions against Iran for flouting a UN ban on uranium enrichment. ...

The Institute for the Study of War last week released a report by Kimberly Kagan [pdf] that explicitly uses the term "proxy war" and claims that with the Sunni insurgency and Al-Qaeda in Iraq "increasingly under control", Iranian intervention is the "next major problem the coalition must tackle".

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