Monday, November 29, 2004

Target Iran

The United States has just fired a shot across the bow of Iran. The war of words has become more heated in the last week or two as the Iranians have played a double game with Europe. I said that the situation in Iran might be a job for the Marines. Well it turns out that at the very least the Army is having a go at it.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. commander in Iraq (news - web sites) warned Iran and others in comments published on Monday to think twice before trying to take advantage of the U.S. military at a time when it is fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Why the Iranians would want to move against us in an overt manner that would cause us to use our air or naval power against them would be beyond me," Army Gen. John Abizaid, head of U.S. Central Command, said in an interview with USA Today.

Abizaid, who was speaking in Qatar, was asked about concerns in Congress that a shortage of U.S. troops might tempt nations such as Iran or North Korea (news - web sites), both accused by Washington of trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Abizaid, the top U.S. military commander for Iraq and Afghanistan, said the armed forces were not overextended.

The United States has 138,000 troops in Iraq and more than 18,000 in Afghanistan, with others deployed in Kuwait, Japan, Germany, Africa, South Korea and Bosnia.

"We can generate more military power per square inch than anybody else on Earth, and everybody knows it," Abizaid said. "If you ever even contemplate our nuclear capability, it should give everybody the clear understanding that there is no power that can match the United States militarily."

Washington and some Iraqi officials have accused Iran of supplying Iraqi insurgents with money, arms and militants, but on Sunday Tehran said it was ready to co-operate with Iraq to stop militants crossing their mountainous 1,000-mile border.
Now it seems to me that the statement about nukes is a warning to Iran that using nukes might not be in Iran's best interest even if they manage to build a few.

A bio of the General can be read here.

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