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On Iran, 'Triple-Track Strategy'

1:27 PM, Jul 10, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Charles Robb and Charles Wald discuss U.S.-Iran policy in the Washington Post:

We cannot afford to wait indefinitely to determine the effectiveness of diplomacy and sanctions. Sanctions can be effective only if coupled with open preparation for the military option as a last resort. Indeed, publicly playing down potential military options has weakened our leverage with Tehran, making a peaceful resolution less likely.

Instead, the administration needs to expand its approach and make clear to the Iranian regime and the American people: If diplomatic and economic pressures do not compel Iran to terminate its nuclear program, the U.S. military has the capability and is prepared to launch an effective, targeted strike on Tehran's nuclear and supporting military facilities.

Many who condemned the Bush administration's lack of transparency before the invasion of Iraq today discourage public discussion of military options concerning Iran. But we cannot afford to shirk this debate or dismiss it as warmongering; it is precisely a public recognition of a viable military option that could preclude its need.

We are not under any illusions: No risk-free solutions exist. Our triple-track strategy does not guarantee complete success. However, the likely alternatives are more alarming, with a perilous conflict involving a nuclear Iran becoming more probable each day. The stakes are too high to rely on sanctions and diplomacy without credibly preparing for a potential military strike as well. We cannot fall prey to the inertia of resignation. Bold U.S. leadership is required.

Read it here.

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