"The Pentagon's planners have war-gamed an attack on Iran and they just can't make it come out as a US victory. ... The US could "win" by dropping hundreds of [tactical] nuclear weapons ... But short of that, nothing works."
On this we have the word of Richard Clarke, counter-terrorism adviser in the White House under three administrations.
In the early 1990s, Clarke said in an interview with the New York Times four years ago, the Clinton Administration had considered a bombing campaign against Iran, but the military professionals told them not to do it.
"After a long debate, the highest levels of the military could not forecast a way in which things would end favourably for the US," he said. The Pentagon's planners have war-gamed an attack on Iran and they just can't make it come out as a US victory.
It's not the fear of Iranian nuclear weapons that makes the US Joint Chiefs of Staff so reluctant to get involved in a war with Iran. Those weapons don't exist and the whole justification for the war would be to make sure that they never do.
By MARTIN VOGL | Associated Press 2 hrs 50 mins ago
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) A new Tuareg rebel group, whose members include former pro-Gadhafi fighters, launched its first attack on Tuesday on at least one town in Mali. Government forces fought back, including with helicopters.
Many ethnic Tuareg fighters who had fought for Moammar Gadhafi returned home with their weapons to Mali after the Libyan strongman was killed in October. Some joined a rebel group called the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, or NMLA, which was formed that same month.
Most of the fighting was in Menaka, a town in eastern Mali, said Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, an NMLA leader who spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from Paris. The attack broke two years of relative peace in the area.
"Operations are continuing in Menaka and some other towns as well. Our aim is to liberate these towns," Ag Acharatoumane said. He said he was talking to fighters on the ground by satellite phone. Bakine Ag Bambalo, a trader in Menaka, said residents heard gunfire and explosions erupt in the morning.
Gaddafi had no mercenaries?