Skip to comments.Panetta report on Iran's military capabilities stirs Republican criticism of Obama
Posted on 07/12/2012 5:33:44 PM PDT by Hunton Peck
A sobering Pentagon assessment of Irans military capabilities prompted the top elected Republican in Congress to criticize President Obama for not doing enough to check the threat posed by the Islamic regime.
The threat from Iran is real, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday. It's real for our closest ally, Israel, and it's real for all of the countries in the region.
Boehner cited the passage of a Iran sanctions package by Congress and suggested Mr. Obama had not fully exploited it. We gave the president a full toolbox of tools to use, sanctions to use, to help bring the Iranians to heel, Boehner said.
An unclassified report by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, prepared in April and sent to four congressional committees on June 29, provided lawmakers with an overview of a regime making large strides in virtually all conventional, unconventional, and nuclear categories. It was first obtained by Bloomberg.
Irans principles of military strategy remain deterrence, asymmetrical retaliation, and attrition warfare, the report said. It focused most extensively on the regimes inventory of ballistic missiles, already the largest in the Middle East, and warned that, with foreign assistance, Iran may be able to test-fly an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), capable of striking American soil, within three years time.
That point struck analysts as especially noteworthy, because such a capability, if matched with the ability to produce a nuclear warhead that could be fitted onto the ICBM, would effectively make Iran a nuclear-armed power.
This report talking about an intercontinental ballistic missile being flight-tested possibly as soon as 2015 just adds another reason why we need to settle [the international dispute over Irans nuclear program] sooner rather than later, said weapons expert David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security....
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