Ways for the New Administration to Put Tehran on Notice

(Wall Street Journal) Michael Makovsky - There is an urgent need to restore U.S. credibility and resolve in opposing Iranian aggression. The U.S. will need years to rebuild a robust international sanctions regime, and sanctions without military credibility cannot stop Iran from flouting the nuclear deal or inflaming the region. A proven necessary ingredient in dealing with Iran is a credible military threat. Two examples: Tehran suspended elements of its nuclear program in 2003-04 following the U.S. overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and it never crossed Israel's 2012 red line over its nuclear stockpile. The new administration should instruct the Pentagon to update contingency plans for the use of force against Iran, including its nuclear facilities, especially in the event of a significant violation of, or withdrawal from, the nuclear agreement. This will communicate a new robust posture and prepare for what might be necessary. It should boost the anti-Iran regional coalition instead of alienating traditional regional allies. This includes supporting the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi insurgency in Yemen, increasing aid for Jordan, supporting Egyptian President Sisi, and improving relations with Azerbaijan. It also includes bolstering support for Israel, backing it strongly against Iran-supported Hamas and Hizbullah, and mitigating negative consequences of the recent UN Security Council resolution, including by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The writer, a Pentagon official in the George W. Bush administration, is president and CEO of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA).

2017-01-04 00:00:00

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