Plan to quit

Not long ago, a retired U.S. general who participated in the "generals' revolt" against the former U.S.

Plan to quit

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's policies in Iraq said he hoped his former colleagues would resign in the event of an order to attack.

"We don't want to take another initiative unless we've really thought through the consequences of our strategy," he warned.

His hopes became true.

U.S. stepped up recently its anti-Iran rhetoric despite repetitive assertions by the Bush administration's officials that it has no plans to go to war against the Islamic republic.

But what raised fears that such attack is highly likely before Bush leaves office was the New Yorker Magazine report published in its latest issue stating that a Pentagon panel has been set up within the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in recent months to draw up and finalize plans for a launching a bomb attack against Iran that could be implemented within 24 hours of getting the go-ahead from the president.

The initial task of such panel, according to the report, was destroying Iran's nuclear facilities and ousting Nejad's government, but eventually it became also focused on identifying targets in Iran suspected of being involved in anti-occupation fighting in Iraq.

But while experts warn that tension in the Gulf region raises fears that a military confrontation between Iran and the U.S. is becoming increasingly likely before President George W. Bush leaves office, The Sunday Times learnt that at least five of America's most senior military commanders and admirals plan to resign to avoid being forced to approve plans for another war inthe Middle East they see as "reckless".

"There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran," The Times quoted a source with close ties to British intelligence as saying, adding that a military strike against Iran has caused deep divisions inside the Pentagon.

"There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible."

"All the generals are perfectly clear that they don't have the military capacity to take Iran on in any meaningful fashion. Nobody wants to do it and it would be a matter of conscience for them.

"There are enough people who feel this would be an error of judgment too far for there to be resignations."

If this happened, it would be an unprecedented incident in the U.S. Army.

According to Robert Gates, the U.S. Defence Secretary;

"American generals usually stay and fight until they get fired," said a Pentagon source. Robert Gates, the defence secretary, has repeatedly warned against striking Iran and is believed to represent the views of his senior commanders.

Contrary to recent remarks by General Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, in which he claimed that there was "zero chance" of a war with Iran, a consultant and a former senior intelligence official both said that U.S. military teams have already crossed into Iran through Iraq, seeking Iranian operatives who'd help in military operation against Tehran, also stated the report published earlier by the New Yorker Magazine which was described by Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman as "misleading".

"The United States is not planning to go to war with Iran. To suggest anything to the contrary is simply wrong, misleading and mischievous.

"The United States has been very clear with respect to its concerns regarding specific Iranian government activities. The president has repeatedly stated publicly that this country is going to work with allies in the region to address those concerns through diplomatic efforts."

Pace played down what's being said about the involvement of top Iranian government officials in the fighting in Iraq, challenging what's been repeatedly said by the American President.

Pace believes that claims implicating the Iranian government in activities linked to "insurgency" in Iraq was "far from clear".

Hillary Mann, the National Security Council's main Iran expert until 2004, commented on the contradiction between Pace's remarks and the President's, arguing that it demonstrates serious discontent among top officials.

"He is a very serious and a very loyal soldier," she said.

"It is extraordinary for him to have made these comments publicly, and it suggests there are serious problems between the White House, the National Security Council and the Pentagon."

The Pentagon refuses to clarify the government's position regarding a possible attack on Iran, maintaining that it has contingency plans for dozens of potential conflicts around the world and that all are subject to regular review.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16