The United States has ruled out an attack on Iran's nuclear program in the short term, a top Defense Department official said on Wednesday. Instead, the US will focus on negotiations with Teheran and continue its aggressive pursuit of United Nations sanctions against the Islamic regime. "Military force is an option of last resort," Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy told reporters during a briefing in Singapore. "It's off the table in the near term." Flournoy said the US has not seen Iran engage productively. But, "right now the focus is a combination of engagement and pressure in the form of sanctions." Israeli officials, who have called for tough sanctions on Iran, did not immediately recalibrate their policy, and emphasized their strategic partnership with the US.... and done:
America's top military officer wouldn't rule the possibility today of U.S. forces firing on Israeli jets, if Israel launched a pre-emptive strike on Iran... a young Air Force ROTC cadet asked Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen to respond to a "rumor." If Israel decided to attack Iran, the speculation went, those jet would need to fly through Iraqi airspace to reach their targets... might U.S. troops shoot down the Israeli jets... Mullen tried to sidestep the question..."I am hopeful that this will be resolved in a way where we never have to answer a question like that." The cadet followed-up: "Would an airmen like me ever be ordered to fire on an Israeli - aircraft or personnel?" Mullen's second answer was much the same as his first... it was interesting to hear America's top military officer decline to knock down the idea that U.S. troops might fire on America's closest ally in the Middle East.