We’ve been running clandestine experiments in non-intervention for some time. John Bolton comments on how that’s worked in Iran:
…Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice initially had planned to provide significant aid to the pro-democracy movement in Iran, as a means of giving the president more policy options, Bolton said. But resistance by the State Department bureaucracy crippled the programs and rendered them ineffective.
“[T]he outcome has been no overt program of support for democracy and no clandestine program to overthrow the regime,” Bolton said.
“This is a classic case study why diplomacy is not cost-free. If we had been working on regime change effectively over the last four or more years, we would be in a lot different position today,” he added.
The State Department emphasis on European-led negotiations has allowed Iran to buy time and to perfect the technology it needs to make nuclear weapons, Bolton argued.
Even if President Bush decided to reinvigorate the pro-democracy programs tomorrow, Bolton believes we probably don’t have enough time for them to be effective before the Iranians get the bomb.
“I think we are very close to a decision point,” Bolton told Newsmax. “And if the choice is between nuclear Iran and use of force, I think we have to look at the use of force.”
…Bolton worries that bad intelligence, coupled to wishful thinking by bureaucrats who tend to downplay the threat, could lead to strategic surprise by Iran or North Korea.
“I personally do not believe in just-in-time non-proliferation,” he said.
The difference between this practice and Ron Paul’s version is that he’d make it official policy AND eliminate American military power outside our borders.