Coalition of the Ineffectual

[Washington Post ] Richard Perle - Secretary of State Rice can rightly claim to have forged a coalition on Iran, but Rice's coalition has failed to slow, much less halt, Iran's unrelenting nuclear weapons program or diminish its support for terrorist groups. At least half its members - Germany, Russia and China - are maneuvering for self-serving advantage in their dealings with the mullahs in Iran. Russia continues to assist Iran's nuclear program while selling Iran advanced weapons. China is prowling for oil deals and selling advanced weapons. German businessmen fill the lobbies of Iranian hotels. For their part, the Iranians are relentlessly building a nuclear weapons program while supporting terrorism and subversion in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. Coalitions, even successful multilateral ones, are important and sometimes essential, but they are not, and must not be seen as, ends in themselves. Confusion on this point can lead to claims of success when failure is staring you in the face. We have a multilateral coalition. It is "united." But it has not, and almost certainly will not, do the thing for which it has arduously been put together. Seven and a half years after denouncing Iran's nuclear weapons program, the president and his coalition can only look on while the Iranians rush to the finish line. The writer, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration.

2008-06-26 01:00:00

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