Iran will go nuclear without U.S. strength and leadership |

Iran will go nuclear without U.S. strength and leadership

Right Angles
James D. Kellogg
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
James D. Kellogg

Nuclear proliferation is a burgeoning threat to the security of the United States and the world. Iran is dangerously close to an atomic weapon. The Obama administration has done little to stop the mad mullahs. To the contrary, our government is weakening America’s defense capabilities and deferring leadership to other nations.

Iran is nearing what Israel terms the “zone of immunity,” when underground uranium enrichment facilities will be impregnable to the biggest bunker-busting munitions. Iran’s potential delivery systems for atomic warheads have literally rocketed forward, thanks to the North Koreans. In exchange for oil and cash, North Korea has essentially transferred Chinese missile technology to Iran.

Many American intelligence experts believe North Korea will have an intercontinental ballistic missile in less than five years. Iran isn’t far behind. The threat of a missile equipped with a nuclear warhead is very real for the United States and its allies.

President Obama talked tough in his recent State of the Union address saying, “America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.” But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has talked about what America will do “after” Iran has nuclear weaponry. Mixed signals suggest Mr. Obama is concerned with rhetoric, not results.

Political wavering in America has likely convinced Israel to take matters into its own hands. There’s evidence that the Israelis are engaged in a covert war against the regime that vows to wipe them off the map. Tactics include cyber warfare and the assassination of some key Iranian physicists. An Israeli military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities is a possibility.

What would happen if Israel launched an attack against Iran? Will the United States stand shoulder-to-shoulder with its staunchest ally in the Middle East? The answer is not clear, especially since President Obama has repeatedly snubbed Israeli leaders.

Tensions continue to mount. Iran resumed blocking U.N. nuclear inspectors. It threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz. The Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, announced the “Great Satan” will soon be defeated.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration announced $489 billion of defense cuts over the next decade. An additional $500 billion reduction in military spending may be on the horizon. The U.S. could soon have less ground forces than at any time since 1940, the fewest amount of ships since 1915, and the smallest tactical fighter force in the history of the Air Force. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta acknowledged that America will lose the ability to fight more than one major regional conflict at a time.

This is part of the reason that the U.S. response to recent Iranian hostility is limited to new “stricter” sanctions. The Obama administration hopes to apply unbearable pressure by depriving Iran of oil income. Of course, China and North Korea will continue business as usual with Iran.

Short of a military strike, what can the U.S. do about Iran? We could start by assisting the rebels in Syria. With Bashar Assad in power, that nation is a key regional ally for Iran. That’s why Iranian forces are aiding Syrian troops in their campaign against rebel forces. Overthrowing Assad and promoting a new opposition government would intensify Iran’s isolation and demonstrate that America will not tolerate rogue regimes.

But it’s not likely the Obama administration will act decisively with regard to Syria. Earlier this month, Russia and China opposed U.N. initiatives to remove Assad. Aiding the rebels would probably provoke a response from Russia.

It’s like a standoff before a gunfight in the old American West. Russia and China are waiting to see if the United States will draw. So far, our government is backing down from a confrontation.

Out of answers, the Obama administration is assembling a group of “like-minded” nations led by Arab governments to coordinate a strategy against Assad. We’re not even leading this wishy-washy endeavor. Iran’s nuclear ambitions will remain unchecked.

This is a time in history when American strength is imperative. Military might, and the willingness to use it if necessary, is the only deterrent to rogue nations and their allies. The ancient Romans used to say, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” Once Iran goes nuclear, there will likely be no peace.

“Right Angles” appears on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. James D. Kellogg of New Castle is a professional engineer, the author of the novel E-Force, and the founder of . Visit or email

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