Friday, January 26, 2007

This Is Getting Interesting

Via the NYTs today, President Bush has authorized American soldiers to kill Iranian agents if actionable intelligence is received that the agents are mixed up in plots to kill American soldiers.
But more questions about the campaign in Iraq, and in particular whether it includes a more aggressive approach to Iraq’s neighbor Iran, seem certain following a report in The Washington Post today.

The newspaper reported that the Bush administration has authorized the American military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of a new strategy to weaken Tehran’s influence in the Middle East and to give up its nuclear ambitions.

The Post said lethal force against Iranians was not known to have been used to date. But the newspaper did say that dozens of suspected Iranian agents had been detained over the past year for three to four days at a time under a “catch and release” policy intended to avoid escalating tensions with Iran.
As long as the Administration continues to couple diplomacy along with this more aggressive approach within Iraq, then this is the correct foreign policy decision regarding Iran and its effort to defeat the U.S. in Iraq. War with Iran would be catastrophic for all sorts of reasons economic and diplomatic, but Iranian agents cannot be allowed to consort with the insurgency and terrorists and kill American soldiers. If Bush continues to walk this delicate line between diplomacy and force, then he should be supported in this particular situation.