An article in yesterday’s National Journal – ( by Yochi Dreazen, details comments made by Defense Secretary Panetta this week regarding both Syria, and the Iranian Nuclear issue. This article mentions The fact that the United States is weighing options and contingencies for conflict with Iran, and obviously this is no surprise. The “no evidence of a weapon being built” comments which U.S. officials mentioned in December, and referred to last week ( “a Nuclear Iran – Through a foggy Lens” have fallen by the wayside, and the “but we really think they are building one” shoe, as predicted, has now dropped.

Last week, information provided to the media, (ahead of the White House meeting between President Obama, and Prime Minister Netanyahu) sent a message to Israel, that the U.S. was not ready for an escalation on the Iranian Nuclear issue, and they were letting the public know. This set the stage for an attempt by U.S. officials to turn the topic back to diplomacy and away from a military strike. Now that the meetings have taken place, there has been a shift in the message, and the U.S. posture of preparedness and planning is where it is written.

The comments by Secretary Panetta that a U.S. strike would be more effective than an Israeli one, on the heels of this White House meeting, change the landscape. Up until now Military and Government comments on a preemptive strike, have been limited to how “short term” this approach would be in eliminating the threat posed by Iran. Although a strike may not be imminent, the message is being sent to Iran is clear – Israel is committed, and now the U.S. knows it.

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