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JINSA Gemunder Center Iran Strategy Council Testifies Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee

JINSA Gemunder Center Iran Strategy Council Co-Chair General Charles Wald, USAF (ret.) and Member Vice Admiral John Bird, USN (ret.) testified on September 9 before the House Foreign Relations Committee on the Iran nuclear deal.


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Statement of GEN USAF (ret.) Charles F. Wald
Co-Chair, JINSA-commissioned Iran Strategy Council

Hearing on the Implications of a Nuclear Agreement with Iran (Part IV)
United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building - September 9, 2015

Introduction

Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Engel, Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and discuss how the strategic environment in which the U.S. military operates will change, over both the near- and long-term, under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). My decades of service as a pilot and as an air commander in the U.S. Air Force, including commanding operations in Bosnia and Afghanistan, have made me familiar with U.S. allies and adversaries in the Middle East as well as the capabilities the U.S. military uses to protect the one, and deter and defeat the other. I co-chair the new Iran Strategy Council, of which Vice Admiral Bird is also a member, an organization of former senior U.S. military officials commissioned by JINSA's Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy. Its mission is to help U.S. policymakers analyze and respond to the Iran deal's potentially grave repercussions.

We released a report last week assessing that while the JCPOA will strengthen Iran and its proxies, it will also reduce U.S. credibility and alienate it from its Middle Eastern allies at a time that U.S military capability is already being reduced by sequestration. This agreement will not prevent a nuclear Iran, but rather allow it to become a nuclear threshold state when its major restrictions lapse in no more than 15 years. This agreement also will enable Iran to become more powerful and expand its influence and destabilizing activities - across the Middle East and possibly directly threatening the U.S. homeland. In other words, the JCPOA does not reduce the need for a robust U.S. military presence in the Middle East, nor does it preclude the possibility of a military confrontation with Iran. Instead, it creates a much more difficult strategic environment for the United States to operate in over the next 15 years as Iran becomes economically stronger, regionally more powerful and militarily more capable. Simply put, the United States is in a far better position to prevent a nuclear Iran today, even by military means if necessary, than when the JCPOA expires.

Click here to read Gen. Wald's full testimony

Statement of VADM USN (ret.) John M. Bird
Member, JINSA-commissioned Iran Strategy Council

Hearing on the Implications of a Nuclear Agreement with Iran (Part IV)
United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building - September 9, 2015

Introduction

Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Engel, Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and speak to the military and strategic implications of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for the United States and its allies in the Middle East. My decades of service as first a career submarine officer and then as a fleet commander in the U.S. Navy have afforded me the experience and expertise to understand the potential threats posed by adversaries like Iran, especially in the maritime environment. Along with General Wald, I am a member of the new Iran Strategy Council, an organization of former senior U.S. military officials commissioned by JINSA's Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy. Its mission is to help U.S. policymakers analyze and respond to the Iran deal's potentially grave repercussions.

Last week, we released a report assessing that the JCPOA will make the United States and its allies less safe, and military confrontation with Iran and its proxies more likely. This agreement will not prevent a nuclear Iran, but rather allow it to become a nuclear threshold state when its major restrictions lapse in no more than 15 years. This agreement also will enable Iran to become more powerful and expand its influence and destabilizing activities - across the Middle East and possibly directly threatening the U.S. homeland - at the same time that sequestration diminishes the ability of the United States to respond to global threats, including increased Iranian aggression. Consequently, the strategic environment will grow much more treacherous in the next 15 years as Iran becomes economically stronger, regionally more powerful and militarily more capable. Simply put, the United States is in a far better position to limit Iranian aggression and prevent a nuclear Iran today, even by military means if necessary, than when the JCPOA expires.

Click here to read Adm. Bird's full testimony

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