Politics

‘We Didn’t Really Deter Iran’ with Strikes, We Telegraphed to ‘Avoid Excessive Casualties’ Among Targets

During CNN’s coverage of Friday’s American strikes in the Middle East, CNN Military Analyst and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Wesley Clark (Ret.) argued that the telegraphing of the strikes by the Biden administration was to “avoid excessive casualties among these groups, let them know we’re coming.” And “we didn’t really deter Iran’s hostility to the United States.”

Host Lynda Kinkade asked, “They also know that the U.S. gave warning before carrying out these strikes. Why would the U.S. do that?”

Clark answered, “I think this is in keeping with the way the administration has worked this. So, yes…85 aim points, but maybe we can avoid excessive casualties among these groups, let them know we’re coming. If they evacuate, they’re not going to get all of the heavy equipment out. And we saw earlier the video of the ammunition dump that was hit with rockets flying everywhere. So, they can’t quickly do that, but you can move out people and families that have been there and you might be able to reduce the losses on the other side, and, at the same time, send a strong warning. And I think that was the intent of the administration.”

Later, he added, “[T]he Iranians are going to come back and do something. My guess is, it will take a few days, several weeks before they can reconstitute these forces. And then, depending on what happens in Gaza, they’ll be back. So, we didn’t really deter Iran’s hostility to the United States. We took a middle-of-the-road approach to this, we showed U.S. power. But you can be sure that, on the terrorist websites and in their communications, they’re sort of laughing, yeah, they gave us a lot of warning and yeah, we got all the people out and some of the bombs missed and blah, blah, blah, because that’s the kind of the bravado that you expect from some of these people. What we’re going to do is being — is collect hard intelligence, and see if we have to go back in and re-strike.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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