Petraeus: Diplomacy, Not Force, With Iran
David Petraeus says force should be our last option in solving our disputes with Iran.
Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, President Bush’s nominee to lead U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, supports continued U.S. engagement with international and regional partners to find the right mix of diplomatic, economic and military leverage to address the challenges posed by Iran.
In written answers to questions posed by the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he will testify today, Petraeus said the possibility of military action against Iran should be retained as a “last resort.” But he said the United States “should make every effort to engage by use of the whole of government, developing further leverage rather than simply targeting discrete threats.”
Petraeus’s views echoed those expressed by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who this month said that talks with Iran could be useful if the right combination of incentives and pressures could be developed.
Sounds a lot like appeasement to me. That is, if we redefine the term to mean anything other than “shoot first, ask questions later.” Which, as I understand it, we have.
Seriously, Winston Churchill, we perhaps coined the term appeasement in its post-Munich sense, famously said, “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.” Petraeus and Gates apparently agree. Despite years of speculation to the contrary, I still believe the man who appointed them believes that as well, at least with regards to Iran.