Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A comprehensive strategy that secures real and lasting changes in Iran's behavior

Eric Edelman and Charles Wald, The Hill. The views expressed by contributors are their own and the view of the view of The Hill

A comprehensive strategy that secures real and lasting changes in Iran’s behavior
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Going forward, the United States should bolster military support for Syrian and Iraqi partners, first and foremost the multi-ethnic, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and update rules of engagement to appropriately defend its forces, the SDF and other partners.

A concerted U.S. political warfare campaign can reinforce these measures and amplify the administration’s strong rhetoric criticizing the regime, by targeting growing fissures in the regime’s domestic power and exploiting its fear that the United States is making progress in undermining its security and longevity. Building from Secretary Mike Pompeo’s July speech at the Reagan Library, U.S. information operations, cyber, sanctions and support for dissidents could counter the regime’s anti-American propaganda, curtail its repressive powers and bolster the Iranian people and their demand for change by exposing the rampant corruption of the theocracy and the costs of its imperial adventures abroad.

Diplomacy is also vital to coerce Iran. The United States should explore areas of cooperation with European, Asian and Middle East allies to isolate Tehran and mitigate fallout from leaving the JCPOA. Proactive public diplomacy [JB emphasis] can expand on the strategic rationales already provided by the administration in announcing its new approach to Iran, and highlight Iran’s legally-binding non-proliferation obligations regardless of the nuclear deal’s fate. ...

Amb. Eric Edelman is former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. General Charles Wald, USAF (ret.) is former Deputy Commander of U.S. European Command. They co-chair JINSA’s Gemunder Center Iran Task Force.

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