February 19th, 2012
07:22 AM ET

Dempsey: Iran strike "premature"

On Fareed Zakaria GPS this Sunday at 10a.m. and 1p.m. EST, an exclusive interview with the top-ranking military officer in the U.S., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey. Fareed has a wide-ranging discussion with Dempsey on Iran, Syria, China, budget cuts, and more.

Martin Dempsey:  I think it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time for a military option was upon us. I think that the economic sanctions and the international cooperation that we've been able to gather around sanctions is beginning to have an effect. I think our diplomacy is having an effect and our preparedness. I mean, fundamentally, we have to be prepared.  And that includes, for the most part, at this point, being prepared defensively.

See more highlights on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS page

Filed under: Iran • Israel • Middle East • Syria
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. norm

    dempsey is full of it....detritus and all that it entails...bs to the max
    dempsey should ck his facts...iran is hiding production of nuclear bombs...why build 30 foot concrete
    bunkers....to hide nuclear bomb production.....

    Dempsey as well as zakaria needs to ck on a reality pill...soon...

    Iran wants to destroy israel...how quick...by developing nuclear bombs

    I for one have urgently advised the Israel knesset to not delay in attacking iran to avoid a sure 2nd nuclear
    holocaust for israel..

    March 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  2. whynot12

    Writers of malware, virus, hackers and anonymous movement . . . go after Syria military

    February 21, 2012 at 10:05 am | Reply
  3. Iranacockuptheirass

    I really like the planet of the apes. I look at all the apes and I wonder, what are they really like? Are they like real men? I really like real men. Yum!

    February 21, 2012 at 12:30 am | Reply
  4. Iranacockuptheirass

    WWWOOOHHHOOOO...PLanet of the apes is about to begin!!! I grabbin popcorn and watchin CNN just like the last slaughter!!

    February 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Reply
  5. weakcountriesonly

    The west can only attack weak countries – iraq, libya, lebanon – who have nothing to fightback. Dominating the weak is no sign of power. Any school bully does that. If the west is indeed righteous and strong, then take on the bigger fish. it also cannot play games allowing some allies to have nukes and preventing non-allies from doing the same thing.

    February 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • Voice of Reason

      Iraq had the largest army in the middle east the first time, and the Republican Guard was very large the second time around too, so it's a bit ridiculous to be drawing those conclusions.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply
      • Iranacockuptheirass

        Yes dumb ass where did you go to school....that was stupid and made no ,fuckin since.

        February 20, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
      • Sandman

        Agreed the first one was no cake walk. It was excellent planning on our part and the fact we were allowed to fight our war. If Sadam had attacked while we were still building up strength it would have been a whole different fight.

        February 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • portcon801

      Weakcountriesonly, ask the Japanese and Germans what happened during WWII. Learn something about history before pandering your ridiculous ideas.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  6. Skorpio

    There is no doubt that if Iran had atomic bombs they will use them, that is precisely Islam's MO and it doesn't matter how many millions of people would died, as long as they reach their goal to defeat America and to wipe out Israel from the map.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
    • Beelzabubba

      Pakistan is Islamic. They have them. So much for your MO.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • Steve X

      Wow you are a lunatic. Which country has military bases all over the world? Who has soldiers and invaded sovereign nations based upon lies? How many iranian soldiers do you see within a 1,000 miles of our borders? Stop your foolish propaganda.

      February 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  7. michaelfury


    February 20, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
  8. globalaffairs

    This is absoutely correct, not only would it be a disaster for the US, but for Israel as well. Juan Cole of CNN had a great post on this a few days ago – http://bit.ly/zoCjX4.

    February 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Reply
    • mipolitic

      sorry , your so wrong

      February 20, 2012 at 9:14 am | Reply
  9. Andy

    CNN, why do you not identify General Dempsey properly–using his rank and last name? From a reporting perspective, you fail the reader by not reminding us Martin Dempsey isn't just another civilian talking head employed by CNN or a think tank. More importantly, by omitting his title, you look either anti-military or just uninformed.

    February 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • Mooney

      You're absolutely right. They should refer to him as General..........

      ...General Douchebag.

      February 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Reply
      • Gman

        nothing more entertaining that ignorant comments from folks with no idea what they are talking about. A ONE STAR General will do more in one day than you will accomplish in a lifetime.

        February 20, 2012 at 7:09 am |
      • Mooney

        As will paramedics, firemen, surgeons and anyone else trained to save lives, rather than take them.

        February 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
      • SGT D

        1st mooney, its been a very long time since general Dempsey has done any kind of training to take lives. Second, with out us over herein Afghanistan taking lives you would not have the freedom to say negitive things about us. Just remember if you have never served in the millitary you have no right to talk against us.

        February 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
      • Mooney

        Actually, like it or not, I do. You purport to be defending my right to freedom of speech, yet at the same time suggest that I'm not entitled to it, distasteful as it may sometimes be. Somewhat contradictory, don't you think?
        But, to be fair, my remark about Gen. Dempsey was asinine I admit – considering that the man appears to be advocating diplomacy over aggression.

        Keep yer head down and come home in one piece.

        February 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
      • SGT D

        RGR, that brother i can agree to disagree, as i am definding your rights i should not be hipocritical by telling you not to speak your mind. As it is that specific reason i am here so ill give you that one it was an ignorant comment on my part as well. i guess the old saying does apply, "if you cant take the heat get out of the kitchen.""

        February 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
      • Mooney

        I wouldn't quite say that it was ignorant on your part. You just took offense, is all.

        February 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
      • 420 soldier

        usa civilians will go ham on some foreign troops hahaha we got lots of gunpower ourselves just chillin at houses in safes....us rednecks ya know? HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! dont be stupid yall better give us ourr oilllll =)

        February 21, 2012 at 7:01 am |

    true saying.

    February 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  11. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    It may be that we need to give little (Yes, LITTLE) more time for the sanctions to take effect, BUT ultimately we will be forced to act.

    Given Iran's defiance that has gone on for decades, there is NOT A CHANCE that Iran will comply.

    Having said that the RABIDLY Anti-Semite, and COVERTLY Anti-Western and OPENLY Pro-Islamic Mr.Zakaria is the last man to be mediating on any issue that REMOTELY touches anything Islamic.

    February 19, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • Amit-Atlanta-USA

      Even if Gen. Dempsey’s words are his own Mr. Zakaria is an expert in scooping-up such words and distorting them to add to his own pro-Islamic, anti-Semite assertions.

      February 19, 2012 at 11:28 am | Reply
      • dan

        whos dempsey anyway..when the big dogs make the decision to strike ..
        they will strike regardless of who makes any statements

        February 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
      • Random2012

        amen. god bless israel and god bless america

        February 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • mipolitic

      with regards to your statement about mr , zakaria i to have viewed his show for a while and have stoped watching his show due to his bais slant towards muslims. mr zakaria reminds me of lou dobbs which i also stopped watching years ago because of his onslot hammering on anyone that did not agree with him. when viewing a fact finding show i expect that the facts will be brought to the surfface not some slant. just say it the way it is and let the chips fall where they will.

      February 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • Random2012

        ya anyone who loves zakaria probably should think about watching some c-span its a little more accurate if your able to follow what theyre saying thats good info. oh just for the record i do watch cnn. im a democrat always have been. but the truth is cnn is pro jews and fox is pro israel. but because of whats going on right now in the middle east this will probably be the only election ill vote republican depending on the rep candidate. my whole family is a bunch of liberal democrats. once again im a democrat. but right now i trust the conservatives more. i will be voting republican this election. Lets nuke some middle eastern countries and show the world who is the strongest country USA baby. fight for israel. If US doesnt involve themselves Israel in grave danger. the anger was not at you mipolitc it was at the democratic selfish cowards that dont appreciate the US military and what it does.

        February 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  12. FL-INDY

    I agree completely with Dempsey, a military conflict with Iran is premature. The US does more covert ops than we can even dream about. How about we have a covert operation to make the US energy independent so we don't have to keep involving ourselves in middle east affairs that don't benefit our long term interests.

    February 19, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
    • I hate you

      Don't stop now, let's get it on and have WW3 – in the end everyone gets nuked – and the best part is – israel will get nuked, too! Yipppppppppppeeeee. The dirty evil zionists in racist apartheid israel will get vaporized.

      Come on WW3 Baby!

      February 19, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
      • dr g

        I am sorry that you are publishing this racist and barbaric comment.

        February 19, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • mipolitic

      in the short term you are right, and when i say short term , i am thinking months. putin is a huge factor in this and with the results of syria, egypt 19 detained americans , suez , sinai , gaza and the encircling effect of israel , this would result in a conflick involving africa , mid east , europe , russia, and asia . so concidering this, it is much better to remove the iranian nuke threat and remove any doubt about the resolve of the usa. because as of this moment i think there is many doubts in obama's will to face the threats with resolve at this time, it seems to many obama is only concerned with re-election.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • Iranacockuptheirass

      Stop miss leading us ....Israel wins.....read the book

      February 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Reply
  13. rightospeak

    The reason we are in endless wars because of idiots like this one. To quote " we need to be prepared defensively " ????? Iran is going to attack the largest military on Earth ????/ Just as stupid as McNamara who saw the light when he got older , but unfortunately thousands of brave soldiers died. He is doing what his pimp tells him to do .

    February 19, 2012 at 9:45 am | Reply
    • Gman

      From someone who has spent 18 years in the Military with lots of civilian as well as military education I would caution you, don't assume our enemies don't know our weaknesses. We have been in a very costly conflict for over a decade, our troops are tired (are you joining up to help? do you even qualify? probably not), and our economy is weak because we have to take care of all the lazy American's who would rather collect unemployment than work a labor intensive job, our civilian leaders are less worried about you today than they are about re-election and popularity. Though attacking the "World's most powerful Military" would be foolish, don't think it would not have a severe impact on ALL OF US, one black eye is enough, don't you think?

      February 20, 2012 at 7:24 am | Reply
      • SGT D

        Amen, gman!!! i agree with your whole post, i have been a soldier for almost 11 years and i can see the lack of training and discipline in our soldiers these days. Most of it being attributed to the lowered standards in the enlistment process and the lack of rest between multiple deployments i am on my 4th right now, i had seven months between iraq and Afghanistan(currently). Looking around the millitary today is way different then it was 10 years ago. Alot of it can be blamed on the politcians getting there hand in the pot and making it a" kinder, gentler Army" ha. We need to go back to doing what we do best and bring back the old violent army. Instead we reform dont ask dont tell...wow

        February 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  14. mipolitic

    who is he selling his message to? in israel this is falling on deaf ears if he can find an ear to tell it to.

    February 19, 2012 at 8:11 am | Reply

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