Panetta’s indirect message to Iran

A shift in the Pentagon’s military doctrine also seems to be signalling an indirect message to Iran: the U.S. won’t go to war but it will “spoil” the Islamic state’s nuclear ambitions. The question is, how can the U.S. continue with its efforts to spoil Iran’s ambitions without sliding into war?

The New York Times reports: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is set this week to reveal his strategy that will guide the Pentagon in cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from its budget, and with it the Obama administration’s vision of the military that the United States needs to meet 21st-century threats, according to senior officials.

In a shift of doctrine driven by fiscal reality and a deal last summer that kept the United States from defaulting on its debts, Mr. Panetta is expected to outline plans for carefully shrinking the military — and in so doing make it clear that the Pentagon will not maintain the ability to fight two sustained ground wars at once.

Instead, he will say that the military will be large enough to fight and win one major conflict, while also being able to “spoil” a second adversary’s ambitions in another part of the world while conducting a number of other smaller operations, like providing disaster relief or enforcing a no-flight zone.

Pentagon officials, in the meantime, are in final deliberations about potential cuts to virtually every important area of military spending: the nuclear arsenal, warships, combat aircraft, salaries, and retirement and health benefits. With the war in Iraq over and the one in Afghanistan winding down, Mr. Panetta is weighing how significantly to shrink America’s ground forces.

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1 thought on “Panetta’s indirect message to Iran

  1. BillVZ

    From the NYT full article;

    “The size of the military is determined not only to win wars, but also to deter adversaries from starting hostilities. That underpins the American rationale for maintaining a combat presence at overseas bases and for conducting regular air and sea patrols around the globe. With austerity looming, those, too, might be curtailed to save money.”

    Reading the whole article by those two familiar NYT spin authors along with the pertinent musings from The Brookings and Cato Institutes,their take is that because of austerity looming- the military prowess of the “sole superpower” might be curtailed to save money.Hmmmmm?
    I wonder who is the audience these ‘wonder’ journalists are writing for? In such matters when the audience is the common people of the Nation, Tom Engelhardt stands near the top, as his recent posting states- “Now, at a nadir moment in the Greater Middle East, perhaps it’s finally time to put an American face on America’s wars, to see them clearly for the imperial debacles they have been — and act accordingly.”
    I am sure he is not referring to saving money.

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