Pentagon Intel Chief: Iran Does Not Want War

General says outcome 'would be very horrific for all'

There is constant talk of a US war with Iran, and constant escalations in rhetoric. But Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) sees the war as something nobody wants and that he doesn’t believe Iran, China, or Russia wants to see a war started.

Lt. Gen. Ashley has been pressed on the possible war several times, based around public narratives that such a war is only a matter of time. He says, however, that “the outcome would be very horrific for all” and everyone knows it’s best to avoid it.

That’s certainly in keeping with the official stance of President Trump, at least most of the time. While the president will occasionally promise destruction like none have ever seen in human history, in general he’s said the US doesn’t seek a war with Iran, and doesn’t want such a war.

If the DIA chief, the top intelligence official at the Pentagon, is right about his part of this, that Iran, China, and Russia don’t want war either, this would be a very encouraging sign, as this is clearly a war of choice for all involved, and if no one wants to choose to start it, presumably it won’t be started.

There is, of course, always the danger of blundering into a war through mistakes, and with a number of US hawks that are still hoping to see such a war, the risks are higher than normal. There remains hope, particularly with the Pentagon saying it’s not a war Iran wants, that cooler heads can ultimately prevail.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of