When President Bush announced, in a televised speech, that he was planning to deploy 21,500 additional troops to Iraq, he added an ominous aside:
Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We’ll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.
In light of the provocative actions the Bush administration has taken over the past year, these words cannot easily be dismissed as mere saber-rattling.
In March 2006, the State Department created an Office of Iranian Affairs, which, along with the Pentagon’s new Iranian Directorate, is tasked with aggressively promoting regime change in Iran. Among those advising the Iranian Directorate are three former associates of the Pentagon’s defunct Office of Special Plans—the same group that promoted the Iraq war on the basis of false or misleading information: Abram N. Shulsky, the OSP’s former director; John Trigilio, a Defense Intelligence...