Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Note from AFA President -- Iran, Gen Loh 2

AFA Members, Congressional staff members, civic leaders, DOCA members, 

This past week Iran has been in the news. First, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced the release of an updated report on Iran. Unfortunately the release is not yet public. This group knows I believe it is generally better to read an actual report … rather than read what news agencies say the report says. Secondly, the issue was highlighted in the most recent Republican debate on foreign policy. I was surprised with the number of different views in that debate. Then the President responded to some of the comments coming out of the debate. Sooo … why is this issue important? Simply because the Islamic Republic of Iran has stated that it wants to see a world without Israel and without the United States. In Sep at our Air & Space Conference, Charles Krauthammer called Iran the most dangerous country on the planet.

Over the past two weeks, AFA has found several very-good op-eds on Iran. The best, written by Stephen Rademaker and Blaise Misztal, (I inserted a comma here) appeared in the Washington Post. It is a semi-technical look at Iran’s nuclear program that comes to the conclusion of “ … there is no basis for concluding that the threat posed by Iran’s program has been diminished. To the contrary, it continues to grow at an alarming rate.”

A second piece is by Bret Stephens, and it appeared in the Wall Street Journal. [Apologize in advance for the political statement at the end.] In the piece, Mr. Stephens argues that it is increasingly clear what Iran is doing. And … we need a real debate on what to do about Iran building nuclear weapons. He begins the piece with: “There's no more doubt about Tehran's nuclear-weapons program. How the West will respond remains open to question.” You can find the piece at:

What this points to is how difficult this situation is for the US and the international community to handle. There are no clear, easy solutions. [If there were, we would have already implemented them.] And … this impacts not just the US, but our allies, too.

Secondly, Gen Loh has written another piece that appeared in the Suffolk News-Herald. In it General Loh posits that our defense strategy in the future ought to rely on Airpower. The final statement of his piece is powerful:

“If Congress wants to save more dollars on defense, it should preserve the American airpower advantage that ensures our military dominance without 100,000-ground-troop invasions or trillion-dollar nation-building adventures.”

You can find the piece at: 

For your consideration.


Michael M. Dunn

Air Force Association

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