Retired Military Leaders Oppose
Provocative House Resolution on Iran


CASMII
[Source: Council for a Livable World]


Sunday, July 13, 2008

 

Contact: Carah Ong, 202.378.3334, cong@clw.org
Contact: Lauren Coletta, 202.841.2381, lcoletta@commoncause.org


WASHINGTON - July 11 - Three retired military leaders sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to abandon a resolution currently making its way through Congress that might lead to a blockade or the use of force against Iran. The retired military leaders say H.Con.Res. 362 is “poorly conceived, poorly timed, and potentially dangerous.”

[Note: H.Con.Res. 363 is concurrent with Sen.Res. 580.  Both have the strong support of AIPAC.  As of July 1, 2008, H.Con.Res. 362 had 221 co-sponsors, including 1 non-voting representative from Puerto Rico, and Sen.Res. 580 had 33 co-sponsors.  For more on these resolutions, including their full text and lists of co-sponsors as of July 1, click here.  --  George Desnoyers]

The full text of the letter – signed by Lt. General Robert G. Gard, Jr., U.S. Army (ret.); former Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr. Lawrence J. Korb; and Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan, U.S. Navy (ret.) – is available online here.

All three signatories to the letter are available for interviews. Media inquiries for Lt. General Gard should be directed to Carah Ong at 202.378.3334; inquiries for Admiral Shanahan should be directed to Lauren Coletta at 202.841.2381; inquiries for Dr. Lawrence Korb to 202.741.6388.

Both Common Cause and Council for a Livable World solicited the opinions of these experienced individuals to gain a better understanding of the potential military implications of the resolution.

The military leaders cite language in the resolution demanding the President initiate an international effort “prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran,” as particularly concerning. The retired military leaders believe that implementation of inspections of this nature could not be accomplished without a blockade or the use of force.

According to their letter, “Immense military resources would be required to implement such inspections of cargo moving through the seas, on the ground and in the air. The international community has shown no willingness to join in such an activity. Without a Security Council Resolution, implementation of these measures could be construed as an act of war.”

Additionally, the retired military leaders say, “Implementation of measures called for in the resolution could complicate our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and could cause oil prices to soar.”

The letter concludes that while H. Con. Res. 362 as a concurrent resolution does not have the force of law, it clearly risks sending a message to the Iranians, the Bush Administration, and the world that Congress supports a more belligerent policy toward Iran.

According to the military experts, “In our view, H. Con. Res. 362 in no way furthers our diplomatic efforts or those of our European allies and should be abandoned.”


Full text of letter
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Full Text of Letter

Oppose H. Con. Res. 362 on Iran

From:
Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan,
U.S. Navy (ret.)
Dr. Lawrence Korb, Former Asst. Secretary of Defense
Lt. General Robert G. Gard, Jr. , U.S. Army (ret.), Chairman, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

The concurrent resolution making its way through the House of Representatives pertaining to Iran (H. Con. Res. 362) is poorly conceived, poorly timed, and potentially dangerous in our view. We urge Congress to abandon H. Con. Res. 362 for the following reasons.

1. The language demanding the President initiate an international effort "prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran," is of particular concern because despite the protestations of its sponsors, we believe that implementation of inspections of this nature could not be accomplished without a blockade or the use of force.

2. Immense military resources would be required to implement such inspections of cargo moving through the seas, on the ground, and in the air. The international community has shown no willingness to join in such an activity. Without a Security Council Resolution, implementation of these measures could be construed as an act of war.

3. Implementation of measures called for in the resolution could complicate our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and could cause oil prices to soar.

4. Senior Pentagon officials, as well as many in the Administration and in Congress, have stated publicly that a diplomatic solution with Iran is the best course. The sanctions demanded in H. Con. Res. 362 go far beyond existing sanctions and previously proposed sanctions for dealing with Iran. The impact of these sanctions would be to undermine any chance for diplomacy to succeed in achieving a negotiated resolution.

The sponsors argue that H. Con. Res. 362 as a concurrent resolution does not have the force of law, which is true, but it clearly risks sending a message to the Iranians, the Bush Administration, and the world that Congress supports a more belligerent policy toward, and, potentially, belligerent actions against, Iran. In our view, H. Con. Res. 362 in no way furthers our diplomatic efforts or those of our European allies and should be abandoned.



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