National Security Brief: GOP Senator Says Iran Resolutions Meant To ‘Build A Case’ For War Authorization

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) are planning to introduce a resolution urging the U.S. government to back Israel, militarily if necessary, should Israel “be compelled to take military action” against Iran “in self-defense.” Graham told the Washington Post on Monday what “self-defense” means:

“If Israel acts in its own defense — even preemptively — we will support Israel economically, diplomatically, and politically.”

So essentially Graham wants to commit the United States to another war in the Middle East at Israel’s choosing. But in the same article, the South Carolina Republican explained what these resolutions on Iran are all about:

On his Iran resolutions, Graham favor step-by-step approach. “You have to build a case,” he explained: First, you rule out containment, then pledge support to Israel, and if that doesn’t work, tell Obama, “Mr. President, here’s authorization.”

So it seems Graham and his colleagues are basically using a piecemeal approach in an effort to making going to war with Iran a more mainstream position. Daniel Larison at the American Conservative explains why this is significant: “The foundations for terrible policy decisions are often laid years before the final decision is taken, and if we don’t pay attention to how those foundations are laid we won’t be prepared to stop the next awful policy in the future.”

In other news:

  • The Wall Street Journal reports: New bus lines for Palestinians, created at the urging of Jewish settler leaders in the West Bank, have sparked a debate over segregation in Israel and refocused attention on the inequalities that govern Palestinians and Israelis in the territory.
  • Politico reports: Israelis have been waiting for more than four years for a visit from President Barack Obama —but if their leaders can’t agree soon on a government, they may have to wait even longer.
  • The Washington Post reports: China’s military spending will grow by 10.7 percent this year — a notable increase in the face of sluggish economic growth — according to official reports delivered Tuesday at the kickoff of a two-week meeting that will culminate in the elevation of China’s new president and premier.