The United States should consider military strikes against not just Iran’s nuclear sites but the entire Iranian Revolutionary Guard infrastructure, argued former CIA director James Woolsey in a radio interview today.
Comparing the Guards to Adolph Hitler’s blackshirts, Woolsey named several “fair game” Guard-related targets, including Iran’s space program, ballistic missile program, training facilities and the Guard’s substantial commercial interests.
The ex-CIA director said the U.S. should consider these military options if Iran blocks the strategic Strait of Hormuz waterway or takes other significant aggressive action.
Woolsey also recommended that President Obama immediately send four to five aircraft carriers to the Indian Ocean to demonstrate U.S. resolve in the face of Iranian threats to blockade the strait.
“We went to war in 1812 over something just about like what Iran says it is going to do – close the straits,” said Woolsey, referring to the British naval blockade of the Atlantic coast of the U.S.
Woolsey was speaking on Aaron Klein Investigative Radio on New York’s WABC Radio.
While applauding the recent round of tougher sanctions against Tehran, Woolsey contended such economic initiatives combined with continued dialogue are not enough to deter Iran from seeking nuclear weapons or halt the country’s threats to blockade the strait.
To counter those threats, Woolsey said Obama should emulate the actions of Teddy Roosevelt, who dispatched the United States Navy battle fleet, known as the Great White Fleet, to circumnavigate the globe for two years in a show of American strength.
Woolsey said he drew up the battle plan with Robert McFarlane, who served as President Reagan’s national security adviser from 1983 to 1985. Woolsey served as CIA director during the Clinton administration from 1993 to 1995, and now chairs the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
“Militarily, we draw a parallel between what Teddy Roosevelt said between speaking softly and carrying a big stick,” Woolsey told Klein today of his military strategy. “Our idea is that we should make sure that we reinforce heavily the carrier taskforces, say in the Indian Ocean, not inside the Persian Gulf itself, [which is] very closed water and hard to maneuver and get space and range and get away from some of these relatively short-range Iranian missiles.”
“But in the Indian Ocean itself, [position] at least four – I would hope for five or more – aircraft carrier battle groups with long range attack aircraft and smart weapons on them, and the same on B2s and B1s and some of the B52s,” he suggested.