Top US soldier: We must be ready for force option against Iran

In the plainest authoritative US statement yet about military force against Iran, Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said: “My belief remains that political means are the best tools to attain regional security and that military force will have limited results. However, should the president call for military options, we must have them ready. He said this on Monday, Dec. 21in his annual assessment of the nation’s risks and priorities for 2010.
Tehran shows no signs of backing down in the standoff over what is widely believed to be its drive for a nuclear bomb, said the US armed forces chief.
Adm. Mullen added: “Most critically Iran’s internal unrest, unpredictable leadership and sponsorship of terrorism make it a regional and global concern, heightened by its determined pursuit of nuclear weapons.
debkafile‘s Washington sources note that this is the first time any high-ranking American has put the military option squarely on the table. He has done so at the very moment that President Barack Obama’s first deadline for Iran to level on its nuclear operations is running out.
Mullen said nothing about what kind of military force he wants at hand, but any attack would presumably be conducted by air.
Sunday, Adm. Mullen said he was worried about Iran’s intentions and said the clock is running on Obama’s offer of engagement.
Also Monday, the Washington Center for Strategic and International Studies ran an assessment by the commentator Anthony H. Cordesman on America’s options against Iran as “a nuclear weapons power.” He wrote: Iran’s steadily advancing capabilities for asymmetric (DEBKA: WMD including chemical and biological weapons) and proxy warfare still leave it vulnerable to US conventional forces and devastating precision attacks on its military and economic assets.

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