BY LEE FANG
In an open letter organized by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., 47 Senate Republicans today warned the leaders of Iran that any nuclear deal reached with President Barack Obama could expire as soon as he leaves office.
Tomorrow, 24 hours later, Cotton will appear at an “Off the Record and strictly Non-Attribution” event with the National Defense Industrial Association, a lobbying and professional group for defense contractors.
The NDIA is composed of executives from major military businesses such as Northrop Grumman, L-3 Communications, ManTech International, Boeing, Oshkosh Defense and Booz Allen Hamilton, among other firms.
Cotton strongly advocates higher defense spending and a more aggressive foreign policy. As The New Republic’s David Ramsey noted, “Pick a topic — Syria, Iran, Russia, ISIS, drones, NSA snooping — and Cotton can be found at the hawkish outer edge of the debate … During his senate campaign, he told a tele-townhall that ISIS and Mexican drug cartels joining forces to attack Arkansas was an ‘urgent problem.’”
On Iran, Cotton has issued specific calls for military intervention. In December he said Congress should consider supplying Israel with B-52s and so-called “bunker-buster” bombs — both items manufactured by NDIA member Boeing — to be used for a possible strike against Iran.
Asked if Cotton will speak about his Iran letter tomorrow, Jimmy Thomas, NDIA Director of Legislative Policy, said, “[M]ost members … talk about everything from the budget to Iran … so it’s highly likely that he may address that in his remarks.” According to Thomas, the Cotton event was scheduled in January, “but certainly we bring people to the platform that have influence directly on our issues.”