Indeed, gradually and without fanfare, the possibility of a military strike against Iran, which only a few months ago seemed imminent, has lately receded from view. It seems that perhaps the U.S. and Israel came to their senses and realized that an attack on Iran would be disastrous.
...It would use Hezbollah and other proxies to sabotage petrochemical infrastructure in the Gulf, and attack “commercial ships or elements of the U.S. Fifth fleet in the area.” ... The Persian nation would attack Israeli military and civilian population centers with its hundreds of long-range conventional missiles. Hezbollah could launch thousands of rockets from Lebanon, and attacks could be forthcoming from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and even beleaguered Syria. Israeli or Jewish targets around the world would not be immune. ... And all of this, according to the report, is far from a worst-case scenario.
...There is little chance, the report states, that an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities would be 100 percent successful, raising the possibility that Iran would retaliate using its residual arsenal. In addition, “an Israeli strike would likely prompt the Iranian regime to rapidly rebuild its nuclear program,” defeating the purpose of such a strike in the first place. In sum, “an Israeli strike would, at best, have limited effects and, at worst, increase the threat.”
The third outlet advocating a different direction on Iran may be the most important. The forthcoming issue of Foreign Affairs has a cover article by Columbia University’s Kenneth Waltz called “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb.” Published by the Council on Foreign Relations, the most important establishment think tank, Foreign Affairs is the most influential foreign-policy periodical in print.
...Waltz’s case goes like this: It doesn’t matter which type of regime gets nuclear weapons, because it has been proven in all instances that “whoever get nuclear weapons behaves with caution and moderation.” He says that countries from Cultural Revolution-era China to the Soviet Union to Great Britain have become more careful with nuclear weapons, because they feel more secure once they have them. Wars become less likely to occur as more countries gain nuclear weapons, because they have a sufficient deterrent to prospective attackers.
Friday, June 15, 2012
The U.S. and Iran have far more interests in common than they have dividing them. If Iran gets the Bomb, that will tend to stabilize the region. Ultimately, it would be better if Iran never got the Bomb at all, of course, or got rid of it once it had it, but sometimes the price of stability is high. Once stability is achieved, then people can start working on the problems of religious extremism, poverty, and the other difficulties that make the region a volatile place: