“If Iran obtains nuclear weapons no one can promise it would not use them against Israel,” said Robert Gates at his confirmation hearing as defense secretary Tuesday

Our first options should be diplomacy and working with our allies, “because as we have seen in Iraq, once war is unleashed in it becomes unpredictable.” The consequences of a military conflict with Iran could be quite dramatic.
He suggested that Iran could respond to a US attack by closing off the Persian Gulf to oil exports and to “unleash a significant wave of terror” in the Middle East, Europe and the United States itself. While Iran has not been helpful in Iraq, the country could do a lot more to hurt US efforts there.
The defense secretary nominee admitted that the US is not winning the war in Iraq, adding continued violence there poses the very real risk of a “regional conflagration.”
I feel quite strongly about one point: developments in Iraq over the next year or two will, I believe, shape the entire Middle East and greatly influence global geopolitics for many years to come,” he said.
debkafile: This statement has broad implications for Israel’s strategic standing. The consensus in the Bush administration is that Israel failed to overcome Hizballah in the Lebanon war just as the United States is not winning the war against the Sunni guerrilla and its al Qaeda allies.

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