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Council for A Livable World / Common Cause: Retired Military Leaders Oppose Provocative House Resolution on Iran

July 11, 2008
10:05 AM

CONTACT: Council for A Livable World / Common Cause
Carah Ong, 202.378.3334,
Lauren Coletta, 202.841.2381,

Retired Military Leaders Oppose Provocative House Resolution on Iran
WASHINGTON - July 11 - Three retired military leaders sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to abandon a resolution currently making its way through Congress that might lead to a blockade or the use of force against Iran. The retired military leaders say H.Con.Res. 362 is “poorly conceived, poorly timed, and potentially dangerous.”

The full text of the letter – signed by Lt. General Robert G. Gard, Jr., U.S. Army (ret.); former Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr. Lawrence J. Korb; and Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan, U.S. Navy (ret.) – is available online here.

All three signatories to the letter are available for interviews. Media inquiries for Lt. General Gard should be directed to Carah Ong at 202.378.3334; inquiries for Admiral Shanahan should be directed to Lauren Coletta at 202.841.2381; inquiries for Dr. Lawrence Korb to 202.741.6388.

Both Common Cause and Council for a Livable World solicited the opinions of these experienced individuals to gain a better understanding of the potential military implications of the resolution.

The military leaders cite language in the resolution demanding the President initiate an international effort “prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran,” as particularly concerning. The retired military leaders believe that implementation of inspections of this nature could not be accomplished without a blockade or the use of force.

According to their letter, “Immense military resources would be required to implement such inspections of cargo moving through the seas, on the ground and in the air. The international community has shown no willingness to join in such an activity. Without a Security Council Resolution, implementation of these measures could be construed as an act of war.”

Additionally, the retired military leaders say, “Implementation of measures called for in the resolution could complicate our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and could cause oil prices to soar.”

The letter concludes that while H. Con. Res. 362 as a concurrent resolution does not have the force of law, it clearly risks sending a message to the Iranians, the Bush Administration, and the world that Congress supports a more belligerent policy toward Iran.

According to the military experts, “In our view, H. Con. Res. 362 in no way furthers our diplomatic efforts or those of our European allies and should be abandoned.”

The full text of the letter is available online here.

Founded by nuclear scientist Leo Szilard in 1962, Council for a Livable World provides Members of Congress with technical information and operates a Candidate Fund that helps elect candidates who support sensible national security policies. Visit the Council online at

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest. Visit Common Cause online at


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