Out of the run­ning

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

Days af­ter a re­port in this space dis­clos­ing a po­lit­i­cal fight over whether Marine Corps Gen. James E. Car twright, vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, would be picked as the next chair­man, Pres­i­dent Obama de­cided against pro­mot­ing a four-star who is con­sid­ered one of his fa­vorite gen­er­als.

U.S. of­fi­cials said the pres­i­dent in­formed Gen. Cartwright over the May 21-22 week­end that he would not get the nom­i­na­tion.

A spokesman for the gen­eral de­clined to com­ment.

U.S. of­fi­cials close to the is­sue said Gen. Cartwright was not on a De­fense Depart­ment list of can­di­dates sent to the White House re­cently.

The ex­pected re­place­ment for out­go­ing Chair­man Adm. Mike Mullen, who re­tires in the fall, is Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey.

Mr. Obama will an­nounce as early as this week the ap­point­ment of Gen. Dempsey, an Iraq war vet­eran who only re­cently was ap­pointed Army chief, the Associated Press re­ported.

Air Force Gen. Nor­ton A. Schwartz, that ser­vice’s chief of staff, is said to be the likely nom­i­nee for vice chair­man, to re­place Gen. Cartwright.

Gen. Cartwright was un­done for pro­mo­tion by an in­spec­tor gen­eral probe ear­lier this year that cleared him of im­prop­erly han­dling the case of a fe­male sub­or­di­nate two years ago.

The gen­eral also has been deal­ing with per­sonal is­sues re­lated to his sep­a­ra­tion from wife Sandee Cartwright, who ac­cord­ing to de­fense of­fi­cials has made dam­ag­ing al­le­ga­tions to other gen­er­als about her hus­band’s re­la­tion­ships. pos­si­ble ex­is­tence in Iran of past or cur­rent undis­closed nu­clear re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties in­volv­ing mil­i­tary re­lated or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing ac­tiv­i­ties re­lated to the de­vel­op­ment of a nu­clear pay­load for a mis­sile.”

“Since the last re­port of the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral on 25 Fe­bru­ary 2011, the agency has re­ceived fur­ther in­for­ma­tion re­lated to such pos­si­ble undis­closed nu­clear re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties, which is cur­rently be­ing as­sessed by the agency,” says the in­ter­nal IAEA re­port dated May 24. “As pre­vi­ously re­ported by the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, there are in­di­ca­tions that cer­tain of these ac­tiv­i­ties may have con­tin­ued be­yond 2004.”

That state­ment helps ex­plain why the CIA in Fe­bru­ary re­vised its an­nual re­port to Congress on arms pro­lif­er­a­tion to leave out lan­guage con­tained in ear­lier re­ports echo­ing a con­tro­ver­sial 2007 Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Es­ti­mate that said Iran halted work on nu­clear arms in 2003.

The IAEA re­port for the first time pro­vided de­tails of the agency’s con­cerns about Iran’s nu­clear arms work, in­clud­ing seven ar­eas:

Neu­tron gen­er­a­tor and re­lated di­ag­nos­tic ex­per­i­ments in­volv­ing the ex­plo­sive com­pres­sion of ura­nium deu­teride to pro­duce a short burst of neu­trons.

Ura­nium con­ver­sion and high si­mul­tane­ity” like those used to tr ig­ger a nu­clear weapon blast.

Mul­ti­point ex­plo­sive ini­ti­a­tion and hemi­spher­i­cal det­o­na­tion stud­ies that used det­o­na­tors to set off hemi­spher­i­cal high ex­plo­sive charges, and in­cluded “work which may have ben­e­fited from the as­sis­tance of for­eign ex­per­tise” out­side Iran.

High volt­age fir­ing equip­ment used for ex­plo­sives tests over long dis­tances and pos­si­bly un­der­ground nu­clear tests to de­ter­mine if high volt­age trig­ger­ing of nu­clear det­o­na­tors can be car­ried out over long dis­tances.

Mis­sile re-en­try ve­hi­cle “re­design ac­tiv­i­ties” for a new war­head that is “as­sessed as be­ing nu­clear in na­ture.” The de­sign work in­cluded mod­el­ing on the re­moval of a con­ven­tional, high ex­plo­sive war­head from the Sha­hab-3 mis­sile and its re­place­ment with a “spher­i­cal nu­clear pay­load.”

An Ira­nian nu­clear of­fi­cial on May 25 dis­missed the lat­est IAEA re­port as based on fab­ri­ca­tions from “ar­ro­gant” coun­tries, code of­ten used by Tehran to de­scribe the United States.

The re­port con­cluded that Iran is vi­o­lat­ing its IAEA agree­ment with re­gard to safe­guards and is re­fus­ing to ex­plain its nu­clear ac­tiv­i­ties.

Bill Gertz can be reached at in­sid­e­ther ing@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

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