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US Strategic Review Reaffirms Preemption Calls Iran Top Danger

An illustrated example of an Iraqi biological WMD. "When the consequences of an attack with WMD (weapons of mass destruction) are potentially so devastating, we cannot afford to stand idly by as grave dangers materialize," the report says.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Mar 16, 2006
A key new US national security strategy document reaffirms the White House stance on preemptive war against threatening foreign states and terrorists despite the country's mounting troubles in Iraq, the Washington Post reported late Wednesday.

In a quadrennial review of national security strategy to be released Thursday, the White House also singled out Iran as possibly the greatest threat to the United States, the Post said on its website.

"We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran," it says, according to the Post, noting Tehran's alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons.

But it also cited challenging situations in North Korea, Russia and China, according to the newspaper. It calls on Beijing to "act as a responsible stakeholder, adding that "Our strategy ... seeks to encourage China to make the right strategic choices for its people, while we hedge against other possibilities."

The 49 page document reiterates the stance laid out in the 2002 document moving away from deterrence and containment to a more aggressive stance toward US enemies, the Post said.

"If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self defense, we do not rule out use of force before attacks occur, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack," it says.

"When the consequences of an attack with WMD (weapons of mass destruction) are potentially so devastating, we cannot afford to stand idly by as grave dangers materialize," it says.

The strategy, to be made public with a speech by White House national security advisor Stephen Hadley, "serves as a guidepost for agencies and officials drawing up policies in a range of military, diplomatic and other arenas," the Post said.

"I don't think it's a change in strategy", Hadley told the Post, "It's an updating of where we are with the strategy, given the time that's passed and the events that have occurred."

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links

US Rules Out Direct Talks With Iran On Nuclear Standoff
Washington (AFP) Mar 17, 2006
The United States on Thursday ruled out any direct discussions with Iran on the nuclear standoff after the Islamic republic offered to negotiate with Washington on another thorny subject -- Iraq.

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