Monday, May 28, 2007

U.S. Govt. Anti-Iran/Syria Group Dropping Off Radar

Given the importance of anti-Iran/Syria activities to Vice President Cheney, one can safely assume that many of the duties of this committee have been handed off to an interagency task force or working group.

The Bush administration has dismantled a special committee that was established last year to coordinate aggressive actions against Iran and Syria, according to State Department officials.

The committee, the Iran-Syria Policy and Operations Group, met weekly throughout much of 2006 to coordinate actions such as curtailing Iran's access to credit and banking institutions, organizing the sale of military equipment to Iran's neighbors and supporting forces that oppose the two regimes.

State Department and White House officials said the dissolution of the group was simply a bureaucratic reorganization, but many analysts saw it as evidence of a softening in the U.S. strategy toward the two countries. It comes as the Bush administration has embarked on a significant new effort to hold high-level meetings with Iran and Syria.

The group had become the focus for administration critics who feared that it was plotting covert actions that could escalate into a military conflict with Iran or Syria. The air of secrecy surrounding the group when it was established in March 2006, coupled with the fact that it was modeled after a similar special committee on Iraq, contributed to those suspicions.

A senior State Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said the group was shut down because of a widespread public perception that it was designed to enact regime change. State Department officials have said the focus of the Iran-Syria group was persuading the two regimes to change their behavior, not toppling them.


Blogger DrewL said...

A "softening in the U.S. strategy"? Are they kidding? More like an alteration in the U.S. strategy. I find it very difficult to believe that an administration with Dick Cheney in it would suddenly elect to go soft on Iran or Syria, regardless of the showmanship surrounding the planned talks with Iran. If anything, they're digging in deeper for eventual conflict.

5/28/2007 11:20 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


Cheney would dearly love to attack Iran.

The brass is not going to let it happen.

Unless some "emergency" arises.

5/29/2007 6:02 AM  
Blogger DrewL said...

Hmmmm. Smells to me like Israel. They have a knack for pushing certain buttons and then sitting back while the fireworks are unleashed. Kaboom!

5/29/2007 10:27 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


There are rumors that Israel will initiate a war with Iran that we would be expected to enter.

We really should let Israel fight its own battles.

But they have been known to paint their advanced fighters with American colors (first Gulf war), so maybe we won't have a say in the matter.

5/30/2007 6:05 AM  

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