Anthony Cordesman

The Bomb Squad

Imagine for a moment that it is late 2010, perhaps a few weeks after the midterm elections. Barack Obama has scheduled a surprise prime-time televised statement from the Oval Office. Looking grave, even shaken, behind the presidential desk, Obama fixes his gaze into the camera and speaks: When I said that it would be unacceptable for Iran to produce a nuclear weapon, I meant it. Over the past several months, it has become clear that neither engagement nor isolation and sanctions have slowed Iran’s determination to build a bomb.

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Fiasco

With the Iraq war spinning out of control in mid-2005, retired Marine General James L. Jones spoke with his old friend Peter Pace, the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Jones, who is now Barack Obama's national security advisor, had been sounded out for the Joint Chiefs job but demurred. One reason: He felt that civilian leaders in Washington were warping the military planning process. "Military advice is being influenced on a political level," Jones warned Pace, according to Bob Woodward's book State of Denial. Jones's warning squared with other reports at the time that U.S.

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Notebook

FOR RUMMY, PLENTY OF TIME…FOR ABBAS, NONE TO SPARE COUNTER MEASURES Obituaries for Donald Rumsfeld's career have been prepared numerous times during his tenure as defense secretary.And yet Rummy has held on. For the last several months, the buzzards have resumed circling over his office, with rumors that he would depart after next year's Quadrennial Defense Review, a milestone on his quest to transform the military. But, when Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt of The New York Times sought out Rumsfeld for a piece on his legacy, the 72-year-old secretary opined that "there will be plenty of time." T

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