Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Risky Business

The new chairman of the Joint Chiefs thinks attacking Iran would be a bad idea.

The new chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, expressed deep concerns that the long counterinsurgency missions in Iraq and Afghanistan have so consumed the military that the Army and Marine Corps may be unprepared for a high-intensity war against a major adversary.

He rejected the counsel of those who might urge immediate attacks inside Iran to destroy nuclear installations or to stop the flow of explosives that end up as powerful roadside bombs in Iraq or Afghanistan, killing American troops.

With America at war in two Muslim countries, he said, attacking a third Islamic nation in the region “has extraordinary challenges and risks associated with it.” The military option, he said, should be a last resort.

That puts him at odds with at least one of his bosses, Vice President Dick Cheney, who all but declared war on Tehran on Sunday.