New Frontiers In Foreign Policy Criticism

Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin, last seen warning everyone not to take at face value unproven reports on Mitt Romney's tax policies, takes at face value an unproven report from the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz saying that a new National Intelligence Estimate shows Iran “has made surprising, significant progress toward military nuclear capability.”

Rubin allows that this is unverified and that there might not actually be a new NIE, but even if there isn't, she argues, Obama's Iran policy has nonetheless failed:

Whether there is a new NIE report or not, no responsible policymaker thinks the 2007 NIE is accurate. If not a new NIE, then the leaking of a purported new NIE will have the effect of increasing pressure on the Obama administration, which has yet to concede that sanctions haven't done what they were designed to do, namely force Iran to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions.

Foreign policy experts can debate whether a sanctions strategy was flawed from its inception, incorrectly assessing the motivations of the Iranian regime, or they can debate whether the execution of sanctions policy (too slow, too porous) was to blame. But we are more than 3 1/2 years into the Obama administration, and Iran is much closer to its goal than at the start. By any reasonable measure, the Obama approach has been a failure, whatever the NIE report might say.

So Obama's Iran policy is a failure, regardless of what the intelligence says, or if the intelligence even exists.