36 Retired U.S. Generals and Admirals Announce Support of Iran Deal

(The following article is  published here at the suggestion of Debbie McKee of Mesa, AZ. Other suggested articles are invited.)

Deal is ‘most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,’ high-ranking officers say in letter, adding that military action only possible after diplomatic path exhausted.

Haaretz.com
8/12/15

Deal is ‘most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,’ high-ranking officers say in letter, adding that military action only possible after diplomatic path exhausted.Thirty-six retired U.S. generals and admirals published an open letter on Tuesday announcing their support of the Iran deal “as the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”

“The international deal blocks the potential pathways to a nuclear bomb, provides for intrusive verification, and strengthens American national security,” the high-ranking officers explained in the letter.

The letter goes on to say that international military action against Iran, should it be necessary, would only be possible if the diplomatic path is exhausted first.

The signatories include officers from every branch of service and include Gen. James Cartwright, former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, a former Commander in Chief of the Central Command; and Gen. Merrill McPeak, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force.

Among the letter’s signatories was also Retired Navy Rear Adm. Harold L. Robinson, a rabbi and former naval chaplain, who told The Washington Post that he decided to sign the letter to show that “those of us who love Israel in the United States are not of one mind and one voice on this matter. I thought it was important to represent some of the diversity within the American Jewish community.”

“As a lifelong Zionist, devoted to Israel, and a retired general officer and a rabbi for over 40 years, and operating without institutional encumbrances, I have a unique perspective,” Robinson told the Post.

The letter follows a similar letter signed by 29 top U.S. nuclear scientists and arms control experts published last week, which also voiced support for the deal, calling it “innovative” and “unprecedented.”

The U.S. Congress has until September 17 to vote on a resolution of disapproval of the Iran deal, which would eliminate Obama’s ability to waive all sanctions on Iran imposed by the U.S. Congress, a key component of the agreement.

On Monday night, Republican Senator John McCain expressed confidence that enough U.S. senators will vote against the Iran nuclear deal. “I am confident we’re gonna get to 60,” McCain on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

The Iran Deal Benefits U.S. National Security
An Open Letter from Retired Generals and Admirals

On July 14, 2015, after two years of intense international negotiations, an agreement was announced by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Russia to contain Iran’s nuclear program. We, the undersigned retired military officers, support the agreement as the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

The international deal blocks the potential pathways to a nuclear bomb, provides for intrusive verification, and strengthens American national security. America and our allies, in the Middle East and around the world, will be safer when this agreement is fully implemented. It is not based on trust; the deal requires verification and tough sanctions for failure to comply.

There is no better option to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon. Military action would be less effective than the deal, assuming it is fully implemented. If the Iranians cheat, our advanced technology, intelligence and the inspections will reveal it, and U.S. military options remain on the table. And if the deal is rejected by America, the Iranians could have a nuclear weapon within a year. The choice is that stark.

We agree with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, who said on July 29, 2015, “[r]elieving the risk of a nuclear conflict with Iran diplomatically is superior than trying to do that militarily.”

If at some point it becomes necessary to consider military action against Iran, gathering sufficient international support for such an effort would only be possible if we have first given the diplomatic path a chance. We must exhaust diplomatic options before moving to military ones.

For these reasons, for the security of our Nation, we call upon Congress and the American people to support this agreement.

GEN James “Hoss” Cartwright, U.S. Marine Corps
GEN Joseph P. Hoar, U.S. Marine Corps
GEN Merrill “Tony” McPeak, U.S. Air Force
GEN Lloyd W. “Fig” Newton, U.S. Air Force
LGEN Robert G. Gard, Jr., U.S. Army
LGEN Arlen D. Jameson, U.S. Air Force
LGEN Frank Kearney, U.S. Army
LGEN Claudia J. Kennedy, U.S. Army
LGEN Donald L. Kerrick, U.S. Army
LGEN Charles P. Otstott, U.S. Army
LGEN Norman R. Seip, U.S. Air Force
LGEN James M. Thompson, U.S. Army
VADM Kevin P. Green, U.S. Navy VADM Lee F. Gunn, U.S. Navy
MGEN George Buskirk, US Army
MGEN Paul D. Eaton, U.S. Army
MGEN Marcelite J. Harris, U.S. Air Force
MGEN Frederick H. Lawson, U.S. Army
MGEN William L. Nash, U.S. Army
MGEN Tony Taguba, U.S. Army
RADM John Hutson, U.S. Navy
RADM Malcolm MacKinnon III, U.S. Navy
RADM Edward “Sonny” Masso, U.S. Navy
RADM Joseph Sestak, U.S. Navy
RADM Garland “Gar” P. Wright, U.S. Navy
BGEN John Adams, U.S. Air Force
BGEN Stephen A. Cheney, U.S. Marine Corps
BGEN Patricia “Pat” Foote, U.S. Army
BGEN Lawrence E. Gillespie, U.S. Army
BGEN John Johns, U.S. Army
BGEN David McGinnis, U.S. Army
BGEN Stephen Xenakis, U.S. Army
RDML James Arden “Jamie” Barnett, Jr., U.S. Navy
RDML Jay A. DeLoach, U.S. Navy
RDML Harold L. Robinson, U.S. Navy
RDML Alan Steinman, U.S. Coast Guard


However, McCain, who is the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, warned that in order to then override a presidential veto of such a vote (called a resolution of disapproval), opponents of the Iran deal would have to enlist 13 Democrats to their side. A two-thirds majority, or 67 senators, will be needed to override President Obama, who has vowed to veto such a resolution.

Some Democratic lawmakers have already voiced their support of the deal, while others, including Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), said they would vote against it.

Also on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry defended the agreement, deploying the argument that if the United States walks away from the nuclear deal with Iran and demands that its allies comply with U.S. sanctions, a loss of confidence in U.S. leadership could threaten the dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency.

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