The debate over how to handle Iran intensified over the weekend, after The New York Times reported that Defense Secretary Robert Gates had warned in a secret January memo that the U.S. didn't a have long-range policy for dealing with Iran's advancing nuclear program. Obama administration critics pounced — Jennifer Rubin says in Commentary the news shows that even within the administration people recognize that the "Obami have failed to come up with a strategy commensurate with the danger posed by a nuclear-armed Iran." But Spencer Ackerman argues in The Washington Independent that since Gates wrote his memo President Obama has made progress stitching together a coalition to crack down on Iran for continuing to enrich uranium. Here, an excerpt:

"It's a real problem — the proliferation equivalent of a bank robber pointing to the bulge in his pocket. (Does he have a gun or not?) By not declaring itself a nuclear power, something Obama administration officials say won’t happen for at least a year, Iran won’t have opted out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, but it will have increased its deterrent force by keeping its adversaries guessing about its actual nuclear capability. Gates’ memo asked if the U.S. was ready for that situation.

Whether it was or wasn’t then, it’s pretty easy to see administration policy since then inclining to answer Gates' question."

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