The Corner

Holes in the Umbrella

In Thailand, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that if Iran acquires a nuclear-weapons capacity, the U.S. will respond with “crippling” actions and is prepared to offer allies a “defense umbrella” to prevent Iranian intimidation.

First, until now, Iran acquiring nuclear weapons has been “unacceptable” to both Clinton and President Obama. If that’s now “inoperative,” it’s big — and unwelcome — news.

Second, would it not make sense to use “crippling” actions now — in an attempt to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons? For example bills sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman and Jon Kyl and Reps. Brad Sherman and Mark Kirk (and many others from both parties) would put serious pressure on Iran’s rulers by cutting off their gasoline supplies.

Third: How can we offer a “defense umbrella” to allies against a rain of nuclear-tipped missiles at time when Congress appears to be slashing missile-defense funding and development?

Clifford D. May — Clifford D. May is an American journalist and editor. He is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative policy institute created shortly after the 9/11 attacks, ...

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