Former Military and Diplomatic Officials Caution Against Striking Iran

Over the past few months, neoconservatives have pushed for military action against Iran, recycling pre-Iraq war arguments that military force would “trigger changes” in the country and result in regime change. “Why wait?” Bill Kristol asked in the July edition of the Weekly Standard. “Any way you cut it,” Herbert London of the Hudson Institute wrote, “military force seems like the most likely stratagem for success.”

Yesterday, a distinguished group of 22 former military and diplomatic leaders urged the Bush administration to ignore the neocons and instead “engage immediately in direct talks with the government of Iran without preconditions.” (View the list of signees HERE.) The full text of their letter:

Words not War, A Statement on Iran, August 2006

As former military leaders and foreign policy officials, we call on the Bush administration to engage immediately in direct talks with the government of Iran without preconditions to help resolve the current crisis in the Middle East and settle differences over the Iranian nuclear program.

We strongly caution against any consideration of the use of military force against Iran. The current crises must be resolved through diplomacy, not military action. An attack on Iran would have disastrous consequences for security in the region and U.S. forces in Iraq, and it would inflame hatred and violence in the Middle East and among Muslims elsewhere.

A strategy of diplomatic engagement with Iran will serve the interests of the U.S. and its allies, and would enhance regional and international security.

These leaders join a long list of people who think there are no good military options in Iran.