Tag Archives: United States Secretary of Defense

Obama Blew Off Benghazi

Had to pack for a Vegas fund-raiser…

While four Americans were being killed, Obama was getting some sleep before heading off to Vegas to party with Beyonce. And as Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta testified, Obama made no effort to stay on top of the situation in Benghazi. The only time Panetta talked to him about it was during a pre-scheduled meeting.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that they spoke to President Barack Obama only once on the evening of the Sept. 11, 2012, when U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya were under attack by terrorists.

Panetta and Dempsey had a pre-scheduled meeting with Obama at 5:00 p.m. Washington, D.C. time on Sept. 11. After that they did not speak to Obama and Obama did not speak to them. Neither Panetta nor Dempsey spoke to anyone in the White House that night after their meeting with Obama.

While an American embassy was under fire, Obama blew off the Defense Secretary the Joint Chiefs of Staff because he had more important things to do… like campaign.

But like Hillary said, what difference does it make? It’s just some more bumps in the road, as Obama said. Human shaped bumps in the road that make no difference at all.By

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When to act

A billet of highly enriched uranium that was r...

While rhetoric about Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapon has been at a fever pitch from some Administration and congressional officials as well as Republican presidential candidates, a senior US official tells CNN there is no agreed upon point at which the US would take military action to stop Iran’s efforts. “The precise step at which action might be taken is not defined, it’s a complex set of variables,” the official said.

That explanation comes one day after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, “our red line to Iran is do not develop a nuclear weapon. That’s a red line for us,” Panetta made the comments on CBS’s Face the Nation.

But defining that red line involves having critical intelligence in hand before Iran crosses any so called red line. It would mean knowing that Iran has taken any number of steps that would put it on the path to nuclear weapons the official said. For example, expulsion of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency would be considered a potentially critical indicator that Iran has made the decision to move ahead with weapons development, he said. Other indicators include a capability to manufacture highly enriched uranium, and the ability to manufacturer critical miniaturization technology for a nuclear warhead.

Panetta also indicated he does not believe Iran has yet made the decision to proceed with a nuclear weapon, but he has also said he believes Iran, once if makes the decision, could get a weapon in a year on a more aggressive development schedule.

While the red line may not be specific, senior military officials are publicly noting they have the ability of conduct a military strike against Iran if ordered by the President. Also appearing on Face the Nation, General Martin Dempsey chairman of the Joint Chiefs was asked if the US could “take out” Iran’s nuclear capability..” Dempsey responded saying “well I certainly want them to believe that’s the case.”

Post by: By CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr

Casus Belli U.S. Defense Secretary Draws Red Lines on Iran

Casus Belli? Days after US President Barak Obama‘s official announcement on major budget cutbacks to the US defense budget, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is trying to send a massage of deterrence to Iranand the US’ other enemies.

In an interview given by Panetta and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey to CBS News, Panetta made it clear that “our red line to Iran is to not develop a nuclear weapon. That’s a red line for us.”

General Martin Dempsey tried to avoid answering how hard it would be for the US to take out Iran’s nuclear capability but eventually answered, saying: “I’d rather not discuss the degree of difficulty and in any way encourage them to read anything into that.”

“But I will say that — our — my responsibility is to encourage the right degree of planning to understand the risks associated with any kind of military option… in some cases to position assets, to provide those options… in a timely fashion. And all those activities are going on.”

When pressed whether the US could “take out their nuclear capability” without using nuclear weapons, Dempsey said this: “I certainly want them to believe that that’s the case.”

Panetta added: “I think they need to know that… if they take that step – that they’re going to get stopped.”

Dempsey also declared that while the Iranians have the capability to block the Hormuz Straits for a time, the US would also be able to “defeat” them if it happened.

As for the possibility of an Israeli strike against Iran and the US’ response to such a strike, Panetta said the US would protect its forces in the region.

“If the Israelis made that decision, we would have to be prepared to
protect our forces in that situation. And that’s what we’d be concerned
about.”

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