reading the NYT’s report about the updated US national security strategy.
An updated version of the Bush administration’s national security strategy, the first since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, includes a vigorous defense of striking pre-emptively against countries seen to threaten the United States.
The document declares for the first time that diplomacy to halt Iran’s nuclear program “must succeed if confrontation is to be avoided.”
The Tehran government is given new prominence in the latest document, which declares that “we may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran.”
Administration officials cautioned that the reference to confrontation with Iran did not necessarily mean military attack, though both the United States and Israel have extensively examined what kind of surgical strikes could be aimed at Iranian facilities should diplomatic efforts fail to persuade Tehran to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
The warning to Iran also stands in stark contrast to the wording about North Korea, a nation that, as the strategy document notes, now boasts that it already possesses nuclear weapons. The North Korean regime “needs to change these policies, open up its political system and afford freedom to its people,” it says.
“In the interim, we will continue to take all necessary measures to protect our national and economic security against the adverse effects of their bad conduct.”
Missing, however, is the threat of any military action, perhaps because, in the words of a senior administration official, North Korea is “already considered a lost cause” that already has weapons, while Iran is still considered 5 to 10 years away from having them. “
Somehow, this makes me think of Bob Dylan… “…when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.”