Three years of President Barack Obama’s policies have made the world a more perilous place, aggravating a Mideast situation that could result in an all-out war with a nuclear-armed Iran, Frank Gaffney tells Newsmax.TV.
“The world will become substantially more dangerous” if the evisceration of the U.S. military, the undermining of American allies – notably Israel – and the emboldening of its enemies continues under the Obama administration, said Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy.
“All of these things really are adding inexorably to the dynamic that . . . war can be taken safely with the United States standing on the sidelines rather than being the reliable ally of Israel that has helped deter such conflicts in the past,” Gaffney said in the exclusive Newsmax interview.
“There’s been a further, if you will, gathering of the storm clouds . . . that only further reinforces my concern that, probably before the next election, you may see this break out in a way that results in a regional cataclysm,” Gaffney said. “The next year may prove even more problematic. Were the president to be completely unrestrained by the necessity of being re-elected, I feel that far more damage might be done in several different areas.”
Among his concerns are the establishment of Shariah in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Syria; the rise of Hezbollah in Lebanon; and the strengthening of Hamas in Gaza.
“Whether we’re likely to see a caliphate emerge any time soon, I don’t know,” Gaffney said. “We’re certainly seeing people who aspire to that goal, believing more and more and more that they will accomplish it.”
His primary concern remains the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
“I don’t think anything will dissuade the Iranians from fulfilling their longstanding objective of obtaining nuclear weapons,” he said. “They’ll have to be stopped.”
There is a strong likelihood that Iran will develop a nuclear weapon before the next election, he said.
“My guess is that, if it’s not matter of weeks off, it may be months at most – and the trouble is, we don’t know, and we may not know until either there’s a nuclear test or there’s a nuclear explosion,” he said.
Gaffney offered two strategies to thwart nuclear Iran:
• The United States could help the Iranian people succeed in overthrowing “a regime that they detest and that has ruinously misruled them for so long.”
• Another country could use military force to disrupt or destroy the nuclear program.
“Sanctions, I don’t think, are going to help in either of those respects,” he said. “They certainly haven’t to date.”
When asked whether Israel would be the first to strike Iran, Gaffney replied: “Whether Israel will do it remains to be seen. There’s talk, and my experience tells me that when there’s talk, that usually means there’s not going to be action. But I think there’s no doubt that the Israelis increasingly recognize that what is happening with ineffective sanctions, with an America that is not taking the lead – or worse, is actually trying to engage the mullahs of Iran – is that an existential threat to the Jewish state is becoming ever more of an imminent peril.”
When asked whether the United States would support Israel if the country struck first, Gaffney answered, “Under the Obama administration, it seems exceedingly unlikely that there will be any kind of support for the Israelis should they decide, actually, to go for it with Iran. My guess is the Israelis are going to be very leery of sharing with us information about what we’re doing out of a concern that the Obama administration would, at a minimum, feel constrained to discourage them from doing so and may actually take more direct steps to prevent them from being able to execute such a strike.”