Friday, January 26, 2007


That’s what Dafna Linzner is reporting in this morning’s Washington Post:

The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran’s influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to government and counterterrorism officials with direct knowledge of the effort.

For more than a year, U.S. forces in Iraq have secretly detained dozens of suspected Iranian agents, holding them for three to four days at a time. The “catch and release” policy was designed to avoid escalating tensions with Iran and yet intimidate its emissaries. U.S. forces collected DNA samples from some of the Iranians without their knowledge, subjected others to retina scans, and fingerprinted and photographed all of them before letting them go.

Last summer, however, senior administration officials decided that a more confrontational approach was necessary, as Iran’s regional influence grew and U.S. efforts to isolate Tehran appeared to be failing. The country’s nuclear work was advancing, U.S. allies were resisting robust sanctions against the Tehran government, and Iran was aggravating sectarian violence in Iraq.

“There were no costs for the Iranians,” said one senior administration official. “They are hurting our mission in Iraq, and we were bending over backwards not to fight back.”

It’s about time we took the gloves off and let our troops fight back with lethal force. If Iran wants to deploy troops to this war, they should be made to pay with their lives. We should let Iran know that their interference will be met with extreme resistance and that we won’t worry what the world community thinks. When history records its verdict, it should be said that we replaced our ‘catch-and-release’ strategy with a ’shoot-first-ask questions-later’ strategy.

We’re told that the Islamic extremists’ greatest goal is to die a martyr’s death while fighting ‘the infidels’. The U.S. military’s goal should be to ‘unilaterally’ help these extremists meet that goal.

The new “kill or capture” program was authorized by President Bush in a meeting of his most senior advisers last fall, along with other measures meant to curtail Iranian influence from Kabul to Beirut and, ultimately, to shake Iran’s commitment to its nuclear efforts. Tehran insists that its nuclear program is peaceful, but the United States and other nations say it is aimed at developing weapons.

The administration’s plans contain five “theaters of interest,” as one senior official put it, with military, intelligence, political and diplomatic strategies designed to target Iranian interests across the Middle East.

It’d be nice if the end was in sight but I’m thankful that the Bush administration is dramatically expanding the war by confronting Iran’s influence on the region. I’m thankful that they’ve finally changed the ROE, essentially letting soldiers do the job that they were intended to do. I like this more aggressive strategy, too. Now we’re telling that region’s despots that there’s a heavy price to be paid for undercutting our allies and killing our soldiers.

Telling Tehran that we’re serious won’t stop their meddling but it will tamp down on their efforts to undermine the Iraqi government.

Iran’s sending of troops, trainers and munitions indicates just how serious a threat an Iraqi democracy is to their mullahcracy. Knowing that Tehran views a stable Iraq as major threat, we should redouble our efforts to drive them from Iraq. I’d argue that this information should provide the incentive for us to get after Iran with lethal force rather than through diplomacy.

In Iraq, U.S. troops now have the authority to target any member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, as well as officers of its intelligence services believed to be working with Iraqi militias. The policy does not extend to Iranian civilians or diplomats. Though U.S. forces are not known to have used lethal force against any Iranian to date, Bush administration officials have been urging top military commanders to exercise the authority.

That’s a smart policy. Targeting Iranian diplomats isn’t essential because they aren’t the problem in Iraq. Targeting Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and their intelligence operatives is a different story, though because they’re the source of the problem. Attacking peripheral targets is of limited value. Hitting the source is how you solve problems.

On a related matter, this article tells me that Sen. Hagel’s resolution is arguing against a new, more aggressive, strategy designed to stop the Iranians. This tells me that Sen. Hagel is nothing more than a grandstanding politician who isn’t interested in the facts on the ground.

For that reason, I renew my plea to GOP activists in Nebraska to recruit a primary challenger to Sen. Hagel so we can get rid of him ASAP.


According to the Washington Post, President Bush has granted authorization to our troops in Iraq to kill Iranian agents that are operating there. It's about time....why weren't we doing this years ago? Perhaps we finally have the chance to win and get out of there. This has been a long time coming. Iran has been sending fighters into Iraq for 4 years now.

It turns out that for over a year, we've been running this policy with the Iranians where we detain them for a couple days, make note of their identity, then send them on their way. Don't want to offend Tehran, you know. Are you kidding me? No wonder people think we're losing the war. It's just these sorts of appeasement tactics that have put us in the position we are in now.

So now we're going to kill them. Good. Any member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard ought to be shot on site and shipped back to Ahmadinejad in a cardboard box. This is war.....nobody ever won by being nice. Of course if the story in the media is to be believed, officials at the State Department are already worried that this could provoke a confrontation with Tehran. Too bad. They started it by interfering in the first place.

But at least the situation has been corrected. This has been our problem all along in Iraq. We didn't clean out Fallujah when we had the chance. We didn't shoot the looters. In trying not to offend anyone, we're doing our best to lose.