Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 3:19 pm
Update at 3:09 p.m. ET. 14 Additional Interceptors:
The United States will deploy 14 additional ground-based missile interceptors (GBIs) to combat the nuclear attack threats from North Korea and Iran, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said today during a press briefing.
"The United States stands firm against aggression," Hagel said.
Putting a more specific estimate that he has in the past on the issue of how long it might take Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, President Obama has told Israel's Channel 2 TV that it could happen in "over a year or so" if efforts to dissuade Iran do not succeed.
The president also said that while he wants to resolve the issue diplomatically, he is keeping "all options on the table."
For its part, Iran has long said its nuclear program is only aimed a peaceful uses for that energy source.
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, went before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday in a bit of a sour mood. He led off complaining that he had to speak publicly at all.
"An open hearing on intelligence matters," Clapper said, "is a contradiction in terms." And then, before getting to any international problems Clapper hit a domestic one: the spending cuts mandated under the sequestration package.