Also regards Iran comes this ABC News article via Instapundit involving secret US efforts in Iran....Well, if true, it's not a secret any more. (Umm...thanks for that guys... )
In a related vein is this Asia Times article that, while rather boosterish, makes for quite interesting reading regards the sort of grand game the US may be using to contain Iran until its Mullahs fall.It dovetails with an older WSJ piece linked to ( with the ABC article) by Instapundit . It is also boosterish but with significant realpolitik implications....
Note that I rather disagree about Iran being the long term Islamic threat. I think the Whabbis in Arabia are more likely to cause problems, and Iran may well self-solve in the next few years given enough pressure. The Iranian people are pretty forward thinking and generally literate and competent. They do not like their terrorist financing, oppressive government and desperately want to be a modern country. If the opportunity presents itself they will be, and this seems to be one of the Wests objectives. Timing is important though, the current regime in Iran with nukes is a terribly bad and dangerous thing. If the Iranians overthrow the mullahs there is a good chance they will be no more worrisome than India or France and quite possibly a decent and uplifting example for the Muslim world.
Primarily due to the malignant influence of Saud, I'm more worried about Sunnis than Shias.
(Of course, the Sufis aren't in play at all....much like the Libertarian's here....more's the pity...but I digress)
Regards Sunni, and particularly Saudi assistance to terrorists....The obviousness of Saudi duplicity in their dealings and complicity with our enemies has led a great many people to wonder why we didn't just bomb and invade Saudi Arabia instead of Iraq. Well, the answer there is pretty simple if given even a bit of thought....but as some individuals have their tin-foil on too tight and are convinced that nothing the current admin does is in good faith, here it is in small words.
Saudi Arabia is the guardian of Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places in Islam. The Bush administration was fully aware that an assault on Saudi Arabia would spark exactly the world wide religious war that Bin Laden wanted. Muslims, even moderate ones, would see their religion as under direct attack. Given the frequent use of Mosques in Iraq as terrorist staging areas, it is not hard to see Islamist Extremist holding up in Mecca and Medina an indeed using the Kabba as a headquarters. A few JDAMS would solve any immediate tactical problem but the strategic implications and resulting worldwide bloodbath would be unimaginable.
So...As tempting and cathartic as it might be to give the murderous and evil house of Saud a well deserved dose of extinction, it would likely have been the worse possible course of action. This does not mean that Saudi Arabia is off the table completely as a target....just that is quite likely very near to being the last resort.
Regards the situation on the ground in Iraq, Much is being made of General Mc Caffery's very comprehensive and professional report which pulls no punches regards the challenges faced by our people in Iraq. Note though that it has been the subject of much cherry picking. Here he provides a shorter version with small words. The situation is extremely serious, but there is cause for considerable hope and the results of failure are truly horrid. In that vein, via Defense Tech comes this illuminating OpFor interview with General Petreaus. A very good piece, read the whole thing.