A Reminder for the 2012 Third US Presidential Debate: Effective Diplomacy, backed up by Thumb-nail actions, are to be the US answer to Iran’s actions that irritate the West and its neighbors as well. Particullarly as we learned that even now US-Iran contacts exist on various levels.
Iran has a system of two separate and parallel forms of government that amount to a country system in an apparent condition of State-Schizophrenia.
It is suggested that the US use above fact, and while continue covert diplomatic contacts with the line of government, entertain overt military activity against the line of the IRGC (the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps), and its Quds Force, which operate under the Grand Ayatollah.
Above is a short summary of an interesting presentation organized in New York City by the Philadelphia based MIDDLE EAST FORUM.
The speaker was Mr. Abraham D. Sofaer who has just released his second edition of “TAKING ON IRAN: STRENGTH, DIPLOMACY AND THE IRANIAN THREAT” – a 167 p. book that came out under the aegis of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University where Mr. Sofaer is now the senior fellow in foreign policy and national security affairs. The book carries recommendations from Mr. Henry Kissinger, Mr. George P. Shultz, and Dr. Abbas Milani (the Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford U.).
Mr. Abraham D. Sofaer – From 1979 to 1985, he served as a U.S District Judge for the Southern District of New York – From 1985 to 1990, Mr. Sofaer served as the Chief Legal Adviser to the United States Department of State, where he served as a Lead Counsel and supervised a staff of approximately … 100 attorneys and was Principal Negotiator on several international disputes – Mr. Sofaer was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. Mr. Sofaer represented several major U.S. public companies from 1990 to 1994 – and he has been a George P. Shultz Distinguished Scholar & Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University since 1994 until now. Mr. Sofaer graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. Degree in History from Yeshiva College and LL.B. from the New York University School of Law where Mr. Sofaer was Editor-in-Chief of the NYU Law Review before beginning clerkships with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and with Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. in the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a Member of the National Panel of the Center for Public Resolution of Disputes (CPR) and is registered as a Qualified Arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association. Mr. Sofaer concentrates his teachings and research at the Hoover Institution on terrorism and national security issues.
This posting of ours is intended by our website as one additional input ahead of the 2012 Third US Presidential Debate at Lynn University at Boca Raton, Florida – where the issues in the Debate will be Foreign Policy, and no way will this pass without having US – Iran relations dissected on that podium.
Mr. Sofaer pointed out the IGRC aggression toward the United States which makes the targeting of the Guards and the Quds Force both lawful and legitimate. He said that 9/11 changed “Irretrievably” our lives and so will a nuclear armed Iran – we cannot afford this – everyone in the region will go nuclear. Neither can we attack Iran’s nuclear facilities – this will lead to an immediate disaster.
Mr. Sofaer suggests an attack against the IRGC instead. They are also an Iranian agency, but they are run by extremists that are not liked by the Iranian people either and are separate from the Iranian government line. Do not attack the regular Iran army that are backed by the people and the State.
Mr. Sofaer kept reminding us of the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon, the housing complex in Saudi Arabia, the Jewish Center in Buenos Aires – all done by IRGC operatives, and now the attempt to kil the Saudi Ambassador in a Restaurant in Washington DC. All these are acts hat remained unanswered. The question is why? Also, Mr. Sofaer reminded us of the Truman doctrine – “The US does not make Preventive Wars.” But going after the IRGC is not a preventive war, they attacked the US and its friends and are going to try again to interfere with shipping in the Gulf – these are acts that call for an answer that can not be naned a preventive war.
Mr. Sefaer, in the Reagan Administration days was negotiating in Hague with Iranians connected to Mr. Rafshanjani’s government – Sorbonne educated lawyers – even at times of ongoing controversy and even when he was ready to cancel a meeting they would insist in order to continue these secret meetings and negotiations. He compared this with the way the US dealt with the Soviet Union – strength in the open and negotiation in secret and he clearly rejected the idea that this will not be possible with the Iranian – provided we do not attack the government but only the IRGC and the forces that fight for them.
He reminded us that in Nicaragua and Afghanistan, the Soviets understood strength – when the US found its own rebels to fight their rebels – the local wars stopped eventually. The issue is thus fighting Iran’s rebels – these are the IRGC’s Quds. The US developed a Reagan doctrine to oppose the Brejnev doctrine – this will be a forceful reaction against the IRGC in order to allow for an effective diplomacy with the government of Iran – and he things this is possible if the US starts an active resistance thus calling the Iranian bluff in a credible way. Bombing IRGC targets in the beach areas thinly populated and far away from the population centers where the nuclear programs are located will nevertheless serve the target of the Iranian people that the US is not a straw-man.
Most important – don’t threaten – just act and let them know that you did act! Project strength in order to force the attainment of a goal – and the goal is in the effort to negotiate while showing that a whip does exist and the US is ready to use it. The IRGC are the aggressive element – so go after them and it will turn out that Iran might also breathe easier!
In his book, Mr. Sofaer analyzes what he calls 30 YEARS of US WEAKNESS – from President Carter to President Obama including, Reagan, H.W.Bush, Clinton, and G.W. Bush. and points out the benefits of Effective Diplomacy Beyond Strength. Important – Rhetorical Restraint, then Regime Engagement, a Broad Agenda and Forum Flexibility. In the end it is to the advantage of both sides if the mediation works.