Col. Wilkerson: Inside the Pentagon, No Desire for Striking Iran
March 8, 2012 • 8:56AM

"Inside the Pentagon, civilian and military, I cannot find a single voice in favor of striking Iran." So spoke Col. Lawrence Wilkerson in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine. He is one of the signatories to the ad by the National Iranian American Council that appeared in the Washington Post on Monday, March 5, 2012 and had cautioned President Obama against a reckless war with Iran. Formerly, he was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell (2002-5), who is currently an adjunct professor of government and public policy at the College of William & Mary.

On March 7, Dwane Brown, in an article with the KPBS.org, reported another signatory of that ad, Gen. James Hoar, who was the Chief of Central Command (1991-95), telling the author that anyone who thinks of going to war with Iran simply doesn't understand the nature of that part of the world. Hoar said, if you think the price of gas is high now, imagine paying $10 or $11 a gallon in California, if you shut down Iran. "The war is being fought in the Persian Gulf, so oil from UAE, oil and gas from Qatar and Kuwait, isn't going out to the Persian Gulf. That's going to drive the oil prices sky high not only here, but in Europe and every place around the world," the general said.

Beyond the cost of oil, Gen. Hoar said no one discussed the financil and social costs before going to war in Iraq. "The cost turned out to be a trillion dollars, 4,500 Americans killed, more than 20,000 wounded and not to mention the 100,000 Iraqis that were killed."

Gen. Hoar thinks there is a need for a national discussion, not a political debate about going to war with Iran. Col. Wilkerson said "there is room for diplomacy." What some neo-conservatives and their allies want is to keep on rattling the sabers so that talks do not take place. "They want regime change."

Wilkerson pointed out: "What I understand from talking with the intel community and with people in the White House is that our position, and I agree with this position, is that Iran has not made a decision to weaponize. Iran may be looking for a Japanese-type, latent capability. The inclination, I think, of the current government is not to make that decision. What I'm very concerned about is that our diplomacy, such as it is — mostly sanctions — is forcing them into a decision that we don't want them to make, which is to weaponize."