The Iraq War Dividend
Iraq: the common factor in two tales of unpopularityBut before we break out the champagne, there's this:
There is a single issue that unites George Bush and Tony Blair. It is Iraq. The two leaders speak with the same voice. They have an identical policy and exit strategy. Both repeat the mantra that US and British troops will stay in Iraq to see the job through and will be pulled out only when security conditions are right so the Iraqi army and police can take over. That strategy was dealt a new blow yesterday when the Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani, acknowledged that the 1,091 people killed in Baghdad in the course of last month represented the tip of the iceberg. "We feel shock, dismay and anger over the daily reports of the discovery of unidentified corpses and those of others killed" around the capital, Mr Talabani said. "If we add that to the number of corpses not discovered, or to similar crimes in other provinces, then the total number ... reflects that we are confronting a situation no less dangerous than the results of terrorist acts."
Concern is building among the military and the intelligence community that the US may be preparing for a military strike on Iran, as military assets in key positions are approaching readiness...
According to military and intelligence sources, an air strike on Iran could be doable in June of this year, with military assets in key positions ready to go and a possible plan already on the table.
Speculation has been growing on a possible air strike against Iran. But with the failure of the Bush administration to present a convincing case to the UN Security Council and to secure political backing domestically, some experts say the march toward war with Iran is on pause barring an "immediate need."
Other military and intelligence sources are expressing concern both privately and publicly that air strikes on Iran could come earlier than believed.
Retired Air Force Colonel and former faculty member at the National War College Sam Gardiner has heard some military suggestions of a possible air campaign in the near future, and although he has no intimate knowledge of such plans, he says recent aircraft carrier activity and current operations on the ground in Iran have raised red flags.
Gardiner says his concerns have kept him busy attempting to create the most likely scenario should such an attack occur.
"I would expect two or three aircraft carriers would be moved into the area," Gardner said, describing what he thinks is the best way air strikes could be carried out without disengaging assets from US fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Two air-craft carriers are already en route to the region... The USS Abraham Lincoln, which recently made a port call in Singapore, and the USS Enterprise which left Norfolk, Virginia earlier this month, are headed for the Western Pacific and Middle East. The USS Ronald Reagan is already operating in the Gulf...