White House sought mil­i­tary strike on Iran

The Korea Times - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON (AFP) — The White House de­manded that the mil­i­tary draft plans for strikes on Iran after at­tacks in Iraq last year, spark­ing con­cern at the Pen­tagon and State De­part­ment, the Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported Sun­day.

The re­port said the move came after a mor­tar at­tack launched by an Iran-linked group on the Bagh­dad diplo­matic quar­ters home to the U.S. em­bassy in Sep­tem­ber. No one was hurt by the shells, which landed in an open lot.

But the White House Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil (NSC) sought to de­velop a force­ful Amer­i­can re­sponse to the low-scale at­tack, in­clud­ing op­tions for a strike against the Is­lamic repub­lic, the Jour­nal re­ported.

It added that the NSC also re­quested op­tions to re­spond with strikes in Iraq and Syria.

“It def­i­nitely rat­tled peo­ple,” a for­mer se­nior U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial told the news­pa­per. “Peo­ple were shocked. It was mind-bog­gling how cava­lier they were about hit­ting Iran.”

Although the De­fense De­part­ment did de­velop pro­pos­als for a pos­si­ble strike, the Jour­nal said it was un­clear whether they were shared with the White House.

In one NSC meet­ing, then deputy na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Mira Ri­cardel called the at­tacks in Iraq an “act of war” and called for a de­ci­sive U.S. re­sponse.

Pen­tagon of­fi­cials stressed that it was not un­usual for the De­fense De­part­ment to draw up mil­i­tary plans for the White House.

“The De­part­ment of De­fense is a plan­ning or­ga­ni­za­tion and pro­vides the pres­i­dent mil­i­tary op­tions for a va­ri­ety of threats,” Colonel Rob Man­ning, a Pen­tagon spokesman, told AFP.

He said the Pen­tagon’s ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude “rou­tinely re­view­ing and up­dat­ing plans and ac­tiv­i­ties to deal with a host of threats, in­clud­ing those posed by Iran, to de­ter and, if nec­es­sary, to re­spond to ag­gres­sion.”

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