Gates: US Lacks Cohesive Strategy in Iran
White House downplays defense secretary's missive to Jones
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 18, 2010 7:04 AM CDT
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks at the International Conference on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, April 17, 2010.    (Vahid Salemi)
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(Newser) – The US lacks a viable long-term plan for dealing with Iran's nuclear program, Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote in a January memo that one anonymous White House official called a "wake-up call." As the New York Times reports, the missive came amid an administration push to develop a full range of options for President Obama—both diplomatic and military.

The White House downplays the report, with National Security Adviser James Jones, the memo recipient, insisting it's ready whatever the outcome in Iran: "The fact that we don’t announce publicly our entire strategy for the world to see doesn’t mean we don’t have a strategy that anticipates the full range of contingencies—we do.” Other officials tell the Times that Gates likely meant the memo as a warning to a somewhat green administration that it needed to shore up strategy.