the 4 branches of gov't
The Bush administration announced a long-debated policy of new sanctions against Iran today, accusing the elite Quds division of the Revolutionary Guard Corps of supporting terrorism.
The administration also accused the entire Revolutionary Guard Corps, a part of Iran’s military, of proliferating weapons of mass destruction. While the United States has long labeled Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism, the decision to single out the Guard reflects increased frustration in the administration with the slow pace of diplomatic negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program.
The designations put into play unilateral sanctions intended to impede the Revolutionary Guard and those who do business with it. This is the first time that the United States has taken such steps against the armed forces of any sovereign government.
It is exceedingly unlikely, but not entirely inconceivable, that Israel would ever decide to preempt enemy state aggression with a nuclear defensive strike. While circumstances could surely arise where such a defensive strike would be rational and also acceptable under international law (such a policy has been embraced by the United States in Joint Publication 3-12, Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations, dated 15 March 2005) [see link below], it is improbable that Israel would ever permit itself to reach such circumstances.
An Israeli nuclear preemption could be expected only if: Israel’s state enemies had unexpectedly acquired nuclear or other unconventional weapons presumed capable of destroying the Jewish State; these enemy states had made explicit that their intentions paralleled their capabilities; these states were authoritatively believed ready to begin a countdown-to-launch; and Israel believed that non-nuclear preemptions could not possibly achieve the minimum needed levels of damage-limitation, levels consistent with its own national survival.
The US does not make positive statements defining the circumstances under which it would use nuclear weapons. Maintaining US ambiguity about when it would use nuclear weapons helps create doubt in the minds of potential adversaries, deterring them from taking hostile action. This calculated ambiguity helps reinforce deterrence. If the US clearly defined conditions under which it would use nuclear weapons, others might infer another set of circumstances in which the US would not use nuclear weapons. This perception would increase the chances that hostile leaders might not be deterred from taking actions they perceive as falling below that threshold.
This is a political war, and it calls for the utmost discrimination in killing. The best weapon for killing is a knife, but I'm afraid we can't do it that way. The next best is a rifle. The worst is an airplane, and after that the worst is artillery. You have to know who you are killing.
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