A look at the Pentagon’s Iran report

Yesterday the Pentagon released its unclassified 12-page report on Iranian military power and strategy. The report covers Iran’s force structure and nuclear program as well as its active operations against the armed forces of the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Pentagon has posted its own story on the report, although it does not appear to have posted the report itself. The Washington Times has posted a copy of the report with Bill Gertz’s story on it.
Gertz notes the report’s findings that Iran is increasing its paramilitary Qods force operatives in Venezuela. You’d think this would be a big story, even if it’s not exactly new. A timely reformulation and reassertion of the Monroe Doctrine is in order.
The unclassified report provides no assessment of the imminence of Iran’s nuclear capability. In Senate testimony this week, however, Pentagon officials expressed their conclusion that Iran could produce bomb-grade fuel for at least one nuclear weapon within a year. The linked New York Times account of the Pentagon officers’ testimony reports that in “one curious moment in the testimony, General Burgess noted that information made public by international nuclear inspectors suggested that Iran had not yet used its thousands of centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear site to make highly enriched uranium, the kind needed to produce a nuclear weapon. But when asked whether that was also the assessment of American intelligence agencies, General Burgess hesitated, and then told the senators that ‘any further discussion on that’ should be held in a classified session.”
Despite the imminence of the threat, the AP reports that a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program has been ruled out for the foreseeable future. The Obama administration continues to place its faith in negotiations and sanctions to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. “Military force is an option of last resort,” Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy said during a press briefing in Singapore yesterday. “It’s off the table in the near term.” Thanks for clearing that up, Undersecretary Flournoy.
The unclassified report drily observes that Iran has “been involved in or behind some of the deadliest terrorist attacks of the past 2 decades, including the 1983 and 1984 bombings of the U.S. Embassy and Annex in Beirut, the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, and many of the insurgent attacks on Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces in Iraq since 2003.”
In other words, the Iranian regime has a lot of American blood on its hands. You might almost think we have a score to settle with the mullahs, or that the utter contempt with which the Iranian regime treats President Obama is well deserved. He has worked hard to earn it.
I was unable to open the version of the unclassified report posted with Gertz’s story. I was also unable to find it on the Department of Defense Web site. I called the Pentagon press office to ask if it had been posted and was referred to the Pentagon’s Iran desk. The officer manning the Iran desk immediately sent me a PDF copy of the report. One wonders if there is some reason the report isn’t posted on the Pentagon’s site.
UPDATE: Fox News has posted the report in PDF that I was able to access here.

Responses

Books to read from Power Line