The US strategy of containment, launched aggressively against Iran in January, is not succeeding, just as the parallel “surge” of US troops into Iraq also shows signs of failing to achieve its political objectives, according to analysts, diplomats and some officials in Washington.
Condoleezza Rice, the Âsecretary of state, calls her Iran strategy “rebalancing” â€“ a concerted and comprehensive effort to push back against Tehran’s advances in the region and in its nuclear programme.
[..] The choices range from engagement without conditions, as “realist” Democrats and Republicans are urging; imposing tougher unilateral sanctions at the risk of Âlosing allies, as supported by “liberal hawks” in both Âparties; or following the path illuminated by some once influential neoconservatives and going to war.
[..] The diplomatic community in Washington suspects that escalation is what Dick Cheney, the vice-president, wants. But with the recent departure of several leading “hawks” from the administration â€“ and the guilty verdict against “Scooter” Libby, his former chief of staff â€“ Mr Cheney’s powers are not what they used to be.