Michèle Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy from February 2009 to February 2012, was part of a roundtable of former Pentagon officials at Third Way, a left-leaning think tank in Washington.
The U.S.is prepared if it needs to use military force against Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program, Flournoy said.
“What this president has ensured is that we have taken the necessary preparatory steps so that the options are real and they are ready,” Flournoy said. “As someone who was involved in the civilian oversight of military planning, I can tell you that when he talks the military option being available, he’s not bluffing – this president doesn’t bluff. It’s a very real option: It’s been prepared, it’s been planned; it’s been rehearsed; it is there for the current president or a future president to use.”
But when asked if the Joint Chiefs of Staff might recommend using nuclear weapons against Iran, Flournoy said a war with Iran would not escalate beyond a conventional conflict.
“I think that’s a hypothetical scenario that is highly unlikely because I don’t think we’d ever get to a point where the chiefs said they had no other options but the nuclear option and would present that to the president,” she said.