(Crossposted at DKOS)
In today’s WaPo David Ignatius wrote an important column. Ignatius is probably the best-connected commentator on the subject of the Middle East and reflects official thinking in Washington. When the Neocons were in their glory he wrote admiringly of them; recently he has distanced himself considerably.
First he indicates that the intelligence operations are not run well.
But according to knowledgeable sources, this effort shares the defect of broader U.S. policy toward Iran — it is tentative and ill-coordinated, and it undermines diplomacy without bringing serious pressure on the regime.
Argues a former intelligence official, “It’s a PowerPoint covert-action program. It looks aggressive, but it’s not a tied-together, long-term strategy that would make Iran change its policy.”
The money quote comes at the end of the column:
But so far, that argument for a rollback of Iranian power hasn’t prevailed inside a divided administration.
Finally, he indicates that any change in U.S. policy will wait the next administration:
The Iran question will confront the next administration from Day One, and the basic options probably won’t look very different from the current set: Talk or fight, or do something in between?
This column may be a slender thread but it is realistic to assume, having followed and corresponded (when he wasn’t getting so many Emails) with Ignatius for many years, that he reflects more or less where the dominant forces in the power-elite are. Furthermore, there has been almost no call for attack (outside of the radical right) for an attack on Iran in the MSM. The idea has gotten no traction and is ulikely to because, frankly, there’s too much money to be lost by the power-elite particularly the Financial/Banking community who still rule the roost, they trump AIPAC and the Likud/Neocon alliance.
It is possible that this column is just a ploy to downplay speculation but Ignatius isn’t like that–in the den of thieves that is official Washington he is honest in my view.