Today, three retired military leaders sent a letter to Congressional lawmakers urging them to abandon a resolution pertaining to Iran that is making its way through Congress. The retired military leaders say H.Con.Res. 362 is “poorly conceived, poorly timed, and potentially dangerous.” The full text of the letter – signed by Lt. General Robert G. Gard, Jr., US Army (ret.); former Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr. Lawrence J. Korb; and Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan, US Navy (ret.) – is posted below.
July 10, 2008
To: Members of the House of Representatives
Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan, US Navy (ret.)
Dr. Lawrence Korb, Former Asst. Secretary of Defense
Lt. General Robert G. Gard, Jr., US Army (ret.), Chairman, Center for Arms Control and Nuclear Nonproliferation
The concurrent resolution making its way through the House of Representatives pertaining to Iran (H. Con. Res. 362) is poorly conceived, poorly timed, and potentially dangerous in our view. We urge Congress to abandon this resolution for the following reasons.
- The language demanding the President initiate an international effort “prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran,” is of particular concern because despite the protestations of its sponsors, we believe that implementation of inspections of this nature could not be accomplished without a blockade or the use of force.
- Immense military resources would be required to implement such inspections of cargo moving through the seas, on the ground and in the air. The international community has shown no willingness to join in such an activity. Without a Security Council Resolution, implementation of these measures could be construed as an act of war.
- Implementation of measures called for in the resolution could complicate our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and could cause oil prices to soar.
- Senior Pentagon officials, as well as many in the Administration and in Congress, have stated publicly that a diplomatic solution with Iran is the best course. The sanctions demanded in H. Con. Res. 362 go far beyond existing sanctions and previously proposed sanctions for dealing with Iran. The impact of these sanctions would be to undermine any chance for diplomacy to succeed in achieving a negotiated resolution.