Statement before the Committee on Armed Services United States Senate
14 April 2010
Lieutenant General Ronald L. Burgess, Jr., United States Army
Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
Good morning, Chairman Levin, Ranking Member McCain, and members of the committee. Thank you for this opportunity to testify regarding Iran’s military posture, and for your continued support to the dedicated men and women of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), many of whom are forward-deployed directly supporting our military forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world.
Iran’s Strategy and Doctrine
The strategic objectives of Iran’s leadership are first and foremost, regime survival; making Iran the preeminent regional power; attaining a leading role in the Islamic world and on the international stage; and turning Iran into an economic, scientific, and technological powerhouse.
Iranian leadership pursues a security strategy intended to deter an attack on its territory and increase its relative power in the region. For years, it has promulgated its “20-Million Man Army” and asymmetric warfare doctrine as deterrents to any would-be invader. Iran has also extended its outreach and support to governments and groups which oppose U.S. interests and threaten regional security. Diplomacy, economic leverage, and active sponsorship of terrorist and paramilitary groups are tools Iran uses to implement or further its aggressive foreign policy. In particular, Iran uses terrorism to pressure or intimidate other countries and more broadly to serve as a strategic deterrent.
Iran’s military strategy is designed to defend against external threats, particularly from the United States and Israel. Its principles of military strategy include deterrence, asymmetrical retaliation, and attrition warfare. Iran can conduct limited offensive operations with its strategic ballistic missile program and naval forces.
Iran’s Regional Influence... [continues]
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