Retired Generals to Obama: No War of Choice With Iran

There is a broad consensus that a military strike is both unnecessary and dangerous

Several former high-level military and intelligence officials took out a full page ad in Monday’s Washington Post urging President Obama to resist pressure to attack Iran nuclear program.

The letter retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert G. Gard Jr., retired Marine Gen. Joseph Hoar, retired Army Brig. Gen. John H. Johns, retired Army Maj. Gen. Rudolph Ostovich III, former deputy director of National Intelligence for analysis Thomas Fingar, former CIA national intelligence officer Paul Pillar, and retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson.

The page is headlined “Mr. President: Say No to a War of Choice with Iran,” and is sponsored by the National Iranian American Council, a non-partisan, non-profit organization headquartered in Washington. The letter states that “not every challenge has a military solution” and “unless we or an ally is attacked, war should be the option of last resort.

The ad also features quotations by current and former senior military and intelligence officials explaining why attacking Iran is the wrong move. Those include Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, former CENTCOM Commander Gen. Anthony Zinni, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen.

The ad is an indication of the widespread belief within the military and intelligence community that a war with Iran is both unnecessary and extremely dangerous. President Obama has faced pressure from hawks in Congress, from Israel, and from domestic lobbies bent on U.S. intervention. He has resisted this pressure, at least for now, but his stated policy is still one of preventive war with Iran, something many saw as an extreme justification for international aggression when it was stated as policy in the George W. Bush administration.
Although the Obama administration has decidedly held off on a military strike for now, they are still heaping harsh economic warfare against Iran for a nuclear weapons program that the U.S. military and intelligence community agrees does not exist.

Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for