Monday, June 14, 2010

Rethinking Striking Iran

Sometimes in certain circles - usually academic - there is a curiously uncrunk concept that military action is the ultimate evil. All events, conflicts and disagreements can be handled with friendly give and take, a committee meeting or ultimately - a pink slip. Military solutions are seen as the worst possible outcome of all.

Thankfully, daemoneoconic avatars like Jamie Fly at Shadow Gov and Director Krystol @ Foreign Policy Initiatives have double teamed that sad, silly meme staking it's hair to the floor so tight - it can't even blink and openly calling for robust dialogue about using military force as a diplomatic/management tool!

"...And one routinely hears how very, very dangerous any use of military force against Iran would be.

"...Would it be so dangerous? That is a debate the country needs to have, publicly and frankly, before it’s too late.

"...Critics of military action against Iran argue that it would open up a third front for American forces in the Middle East. Our troops would be at risk from Iranian missiles. Iran would block the Strait of Hormuz (causing oil prices to skyrocket) and use its terrorist proxies HAMAS and Hiz'B'Allah to carry out attacks well beyond the Middle East, including perhaps on the U.S. homeland.

"...A targeted campaign against Iran’s nuclear facilities, against sites used to train and equip militants killing American soldiers, and against certain targeted terror-supporting and nuclear-enabling regime elements, the effects are just as likely to be limited.

"...It’s unclear, for example, that Iran would want to risk broadening the conflict and creating the prospect of regime decapitation. Iran’s rulers have shown that their preeminent concern is maintaining their grip on power. If U.S. military action is narrowly targeted, and declared to be such, why would Iran’s leaders, already under pressure at home, want to escalate the conflict, as even one missile attack on a U.S. facility or ally or a blockade of the Strait would obviously do?

"...Some in Washington seem resigned to letting Israel take action. But a U.S. failure to act in response to what is perhaps the greatest threat to American interests in decades would be irresponsible. Israel, moreover, lacks our full capabilities to do the job.

"...Despite our global commitments and our engagement in two ongoing wars, the U.S. military is fully able to carry out such a mission. Indeed, the success of President Bush’s 2007 surge of forces into Iraq and of President Obama’s sending additional resources to Afghanistan means we are on better footing to deal with Iran’s nuclear program than we were a few years ago.

"...Obviously, the best alternative in Iran is regime change brought about by domestic opposition.

"...It’s now increasingly clear that the credible threat of a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program is the only action that could convince the regime to curtail its ambitions.

Pic "The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences"


Peter said...

I do not understand why the Iran military has a single weapon more powerful than a rock.

After we started taking casualties from Iran and Syria armed bad guys in Iraq we should have sent our Zoomies through both counties bombing and strafing until the survivors in those places learned to play nice. Same with Saudi Arabia.

Render said...

Iran keeps all of its best tanks (the upgraded T-72S models) in one division.

That division is headquartered within several hours striking distance of Basra, Iraq.

They can, however temporarily, close the northern end of the Gulf as well.


Will said...

Hi.Good posting i think also that we are entering an era of concequences .Thanks to Oblunder we might face a new World War.

David said...


Sanctions are nice if you like window dressing but they won't get the job done.

Iran is on an undeterred course to build and maintain a nuclear arsenal and short of war, it seems there is little that the world as represented by the UN, the United States or Israel can do about it.

While China and Russia are onboard with this latest round of sanctions they have refused to allow them to rise to the level where they would affect the day to day economy of Iran. Add that to the fact that the Iranians as the New York Times has reported have been actively gaming the system so as to avoid the effects of sanctions already in place and the result is in a few short years Iran will become a nuclear power.

If the United States, Israel or anyone else is serious about preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power, it is way past time for action. There are few good alternatives. A nuclear Iran will have many consequences for the region and the world but so will war. War will cost lives, be messy and will be unsupported by the majority of the world. There will be many resulting consequences, some intended and many of which will be unknown and unintended. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. War never is.

In this game of high stakes chess, those who would seek to stop Iran are on the clock. Short of war, the best the world can hope for is a draw. The question is can we live with that outcome?