Fighting It– Dealing with Iran

Commentary in the Chicago Tribune that brings together some reasonable ideas for dealing with the one of the main sources of Islamo-fascism-

excerpts: Taking the Offensive on Iran – David L. Grange and Ilan Berman (Chicago Tribune)

The Bush administration must craft a broader strategy for dealing with Iran – one designed to prevent Iran from going nuclear, contain its regional ambitions, and encourage a fundamental political transformation within its borders.

  • Such a strategy needs to focus on several fronts.
    1. Intelligence – The U.S. and its allies know far too little about the strategic capabilities of Iran, including how far Iran actually is from the nuclear threshold. Washington desperately needs a crash intelligence program to “get smart” on Iran in order to identify the best tactics to employ against the ayatollahs.
    2. Regime leadership – Iran is rapidly gaining in regional influence and prestige. Diminishing its standing needs to be a major American objective. That can be accomplished by publicizing the regime’s corruption, human rights abuses, and ties to international terror, and using these issues to isolate Iran internationally.
    3. Economic – Iran is deeply dependent on foreign capital and foreign gasoline. Targeted financial measures that take advantage of these vulnerabilities can substantially impact Iran’s political priorities.
    4. Support for terrorism – The U.S. will need to degrade Iran’s ability to support regional instability, stopping its arms shipments to terrorist proxies and capturing or killing Iranian-supported radicals. Such steps would be an important signal to other state sponsors of terror that their actions are not cost-free.
    5. Communication – The U.S. must communicate in no uncertain terms that continued rogue behavior by Iran carries adverse consequences, up to and including the use of force. At the same time, outreach to the Iranian people should be optimized to better demonstrate our commitment to their urge for freedom.
    6. Military options – The White House needs to map out a full spectrum of military options vis-a-vis Iran. Limited overt and covert military measures aimed at increasing economic and political pressure on the Iranian regime can and should be explored now.

    Brig. Gen. David L. Grange is chief executive officer of the McCormick Tribune Foundation. Ilan Berman is vice president for policy at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington.

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