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Secretary of defense Robert Gates had spent the last two years of George W. Bush's presidency cleaning up the mess of a poorly planned war in Iraq; he wasn't going to watch the U.S. stumble into a war in Iran unprepared. So in January 2010, he sent a secret three-page memo to the National Security Adviser, General Jim Jones, that would transform the Obama team's thinking and planning on Iran.

... SNIP ...

Gates asked hard questions: Was the U.S. goal to keep Iran from getting a weapon or to prevent it from having the capability to get a weapon? What would an Israeli strike mean for the U.S., and how could the Administration keep Israel from acting? Was the U.S. ready not just to attack but also to defend itself and its allies in case of a war? Most controversial, Gates asked whether the U.S. might be willing to deter and contain Iran if it got a nuke, rather than launch a war to damage its program.

From the March 11th, 2013 Issue - look into the future!

The containment argument, per the article, came down to Hillary Clinton arguing that containment would fail while Gates argued that it could work and was a better long-term choice than war. Everyone please note that the Republican Secretary of Defense argued against war, while the Democratic Secretary of State argued for it.

The well-regarded U.S. think tank the Institute for Science and International Security says the earliest Iran could get the Bomb is mid-2014. Experts credit the cyberattacks with significantly setting back Iran's nuclear program. And Iran itself has slowed down its efforts, converting some enriched uranium to a form that can be used only in research, not in weapons, thereby keeping its total enriched uranium under the amount needed to make a nuclear weapon.
An Iranian nuclear weapon, or an escalating effort to prevent it, will be an issue in the 2014 midterms. And it is well suited for exploitation by the Right Wing Noise Machine. It may be guaranteed that Faux Noise will have a collective feargasm.

More below the Orange Squiggle of Power.

Secretary of State John Kerry, on his first trip abroad, warned that the failure of diplomacy could have "terrible consequences."

He, like every current and former official interviewed for this story, believes Obama will resort to war if necessary to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

In the event of war, the US will pay a heavy price in blood, money, and reputation. The Iranians will pay a proportionately heavier price in blood - their Air Force and Navy will cease to exist in practical terms - and money. But their reputation, at least among those whose opinion matters to them, will be enhanced.

It's 2013, you say? That's funny. It feels a lot like 1913 to me.

Poll

Will there be war over the Iranian nuclear program?

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