The Rise and Fall of the "Rogue Doctrine"

The Pentagon's Quest for a Post-Cold War Military Strategy

by Michael Klare
published in MER208

Since 1990, US military policy has been governed by one overarching premise that US and international security is primarily threatened by the “rogue states” of the Third World. These states -- assumed to include Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea and Syria -- are said to threaten US interests because of their large and relatively modern militaries, their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and their hostile stance toward the United States and its allies. To counter this threat, current American strategy requires the maintenance of sufficient military strength to conduct (and prevail in) two Desert Storm-like operations simultaneously.

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To Deny Iran Atomic Weapons, Create a Nuclear-Free Region

by Chris Toensing | published December 16, 2003

The 12-year standoff between Saddam Hussein’s former regime and the US displayed a circular logic: the Iraqi refusal to “come clean” about possibly non-existent weaponry simultaneously fed, and fed off of, Washington’s belligerence toward Iraq. With most eyes on the denouement of that malign symbiosis, something similar is developing between Washington and Iran over the apparent nuclear ambitions of the Islamic Republic.

Iran's Human Rights Record Should Be As 'Intolerable' As Its Nukes

by Kaveh Ehsani | published December 17, 2004

The Islamic Republic of Iran is in hot water with Washington and European capitals because of its apparent pursuit of a nuclear bomb. Dangling carrots of increased trade, the Europeans are trying to persuade Iran to renounce atomic ambitions. Skeptical of these methods but bogged down in Iraq, the Bush administration has grumbled on the sidelines.

We Need Negotiations, Not Saber-Rattling, With Iran

by Kaveh Ehsani | published May 6, 2006

“All options are on the table,” says President George W. Bush when asked about press reports that the Pentagon is drawing up plans to bomb Iran to derail the nuclear research program there. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shoots back: "The Iranian nation will respond to any blow with double the intensity." Even if Bush’s saber rattling is merely a psychological ploy, and even if the Iranians are also just blowing smoke, the danger is that the cycle of threat and counter-threat could spin out of control.

Let Cooler Heads Prevail on Iran

by Shiva Balaghi , Chris Toensing | published June 15, 2006

Once again, President George W. Bush is hinting at preventive war—this time, ostensibly, to stop the Islamic Republic of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Given the catastrophe that followed Bush’s last “non-proliferation war” in Iraq, and the deceit employed to sell it, one would expect the public to rebel against the recent rumors of airstrikes on Iran.

War Is Peace, Sanctions Are Diplomacy

by Carah Ong | published November 23, 2007

The White House is pressing ahead with its stated goal of persuading the UN Security Council to pass far-reaching sanctions to punish Iran for refusing to suspend its nuclear research program. Sanctions are what President George W. Bush is referring to when he pledges to nervous US allies that he intends to “continue to work together to solve this problem diplomatically.” The non-diplomatic solution in this framing of the “problem,” presumably, would be airstrikes on nuclear facilities in the Islamic Republic.

Under the Veil of Ideology

The Israeli-Iranian Strategic Rivalry

by Trita Parsi | published June 9, 2006

When Iran’s hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” in October 2005, the world appeared to be light years away from the end of history. It seemed that ideologues had once more taken the reins of power and rejoined a battle in which there could be no parley or negotiated truce—only the victory of one idea over the other.

Iran’s Nuclear File

The Uncertain Endgame

by Farideh Farhi | published October 24, 2005

Neo-Conservatives, Hardline Clerics and the Bomb

by Kaveh Ehsani , Chris Toensing
published in MER233

Even as the US military launched a long-rumored offensive in the Iraqi city of Falluja in early November 2004, the subject of anxious speculation in Washington was not Iraq, but Iran. President George W. Bush’s victory at the polls on November 2 returned to office the executive who located Iran upon an “axis of evil” in the 2002 State of the Union address and called the Islamic Republic a “totalitarian state” during his campaign for a second term in the White House. The neo-conservatives who were so influential in promoting the invasion of Iraq have long harbored the desire to foment “regime change” in Tehran as well as in Baghdad.