My last post tried to assess the proposed nuclear deal with Iran. What I am seeing now is that thoughtful people with the technical, military and diplomatic expertise to assess the agreement and its prospects for success support the agreement.
An open letter from three dozen retired generals and admirals supports the Iran deal. The letter states: “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. … 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.”
The Washington Post in an August 11, 2015 article reports that “Signers of the military letter include retired general and flag officers from every branch of service. They include four-star Marine Gens. James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Joseph P. Hoar, former head of the U.S. Central Command; and Gens. Merrill McPeak and Lloyd W. Newton of the Air Force.”
Just a week earlier, as reported by the NY Times on August 8, 2015 a “… letter, from some of the world’s most knowledgeable experts in the fields of nuclear weapons and arms control..” supports the agreement. The Washington Post report on August 11, 2015 cited above says that the scientists’ letter called the Iran deal “technically sound, stringent and innovative” and said it would “provide the necessary assurance in the coming decade and more that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons.”
Former Secretary of Defense and head of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Harold Brown, in the August 14, 2015 Washington Post calls it a “no-brainer of a deal”. On the same page Fareed Zakaria responds to the reasons that Senator Chuck Shumer used to support his decision to vote against the deal. Zakaria says Senator Shumer makes an illogical case and urges him to “reconsider his decision”.
It is unfortunate that the deal is front and center in the midst of presidential election partisan politics. I really believe politicians are more likely to seek to position themselves for the upcoming election year rather than to thoughtfully assess what is truly best for the country. So assessments by leading scientists, retired military and government officials should carry much more weight. And they say sign the agreement.