The battle over Iran may be one of the more lethal America has fought... in long run.
Just consider what the Times calls Obama's "shift from military might to diplomacy" will mean to long-term planners in the defense industry and to their friends and dependents in Congress and state governments. Negotiations -- rather than war -- with Iran signals a slow-down in the military-industrial gravy train that has fed politicians and lobbyists for so long.
At one level, the flurry of diplomatic activity reflects the definitive end of the post-Sept. 11 world, dominated by two major wars and a battle against Islamic terrorism that drew the United States into Afghanistan and still keeps its Predator drones flying over Pakistan and Yemen.
But it also reflects a broader scaling-back of the use of American muscle, not least in the Middle East, as well as a willingness to deal with foreign governments as they are rather than to push for new leaders that better embody American values. “Regime change,” in Iran or even Syria, is out; cutting deals with former adversaries is in.
For Mr. Obama, the shift to diplomacy fulfills a campaign pledge from 2008 that he would stretch out a hand to America’s enemies and speak to any foreign leader without preconditions. ...NYT
Even as the prospect of endless war overseas slows down, look for an internal battle over a power shift from hawks to realists here at home. Obama's popularity on the right -- on militarists in both parties -- will move from chilly to hard freeze.
So the "war" will be internal even as the battle against war itself grows in a nation that hasn't been free of war for decades. The right's battle against Obama himself can only get worse. "Mr. Obama faces the treacherous task of negotiating a final agreement," the Times reports. "This time, the administration will have to do the bargaining with its partners, and it faces vocal skepticism from Israel and members of Congress."
“This was a president who was elected on the promise to wind down two wars responsibly,” said Bruce O. Riedel, a former administration official who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “He can now also say he has avoided a third war.”...
...“The Iran talks are a four-ring circus,” said R. Nicholas Burns, a former under secretary of state who coordinated Iran policy during the Bush administration. “This is going to be among the most complex and difficult diplomatic cases ever.” ...NYT