I’m uncertain what to make of Sy Hersh’s recent New Yorker story about Pentagon plans to conduct a series of air strike on Iran, plans that include the use of nuclear “bunker buster” weapons.

Below the fold: best laid plans

On one hand, I’d be shocked if military planners weren’t coming up with such plans.  As a former operational and tactical contingency planner myself, I can assure you that the military constantly spins plans in an effort to anticipate the strategic desires of our country’s political leaders.  If I had a piece of coin or currency for every hour I spent planning or practicing for a final showdown with Soviet naval forces in the north Pacific during the cold war, I’d have enough dead presidents lying around in my file cabinet to pay off my mortgage.  

So it’s no surprise to me that the boys and girls still in uniform are figuring out what to do about Iran’s nuclear program in case the commander in chief orders them to do something about it.  And all this contingency planning wouldn’t alarm me if the commander in chief were anyone but Mister Bush, and his inner circle consisted of anyone but Cheney, Rice, Rove and Rumsfeld.  Their foreign policy track record hasn’t seemed terribly rational to date.

We invaded and occupied a country that didn’t have nukes (Iraq).

We’re making boo noise about striking a nation that doesn’t have nukes with nukes (Iran).

We promised not to attack a country that we know has nukes (North Korea).

We struck a deal to assist the nuclear program of a country that has nukes but isn’t part of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (India).  

So please forgive me if I’m less than confident that our foreign policy brain trust knows what it’s doing.  

And keep in mind that our National Security Council is populated with 30 something Gen Xers who don’t think the Cold War involved WMD and say things like, “Arms control, what’s that?”


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Read his weekday commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.

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