Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Iran does, however, present the potential for further irritation with China with regard to oil purchases"

In the wake of the reductions in defense spending announced by Secretary of Defense Panetta on January 26th ... ... , the US does not feel under-resourced for any confrontation with Iran. With two carriers in the region, Pentagon officials feel confident that they can deter Tehran from ill-judged actions in the Strait of Hormuz. For the moment, the focus has switched to diplomacy. The Administration has welcomed the oil sanctions imposed by the EU and General Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has reiterated his view that military action is premature. . Concern is, however, rising rapidly in regard to Egypt and Syria. The decision by the Egyptian authorities to prevent a number of US citizens from leaving the country has crystallized rising fears that the hopes of the Arab Spring will be stillborn. One consequence of this is that US pressure on Israel over the Middle East peace process – already minimal – will not increase.

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