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« A Portent of Things to Come | Main | Fallujah Video Footage »

November 15, 2004

Comments

victor falk

Have you read James Fallow's article in last december's issue of the Atlantic about a mock wargaming exercise concerning Iran's nuclear weapons program?

Bottom line: with the current situation in Iraq there's is simply no military solution to Iran's nuclear problem, something even the most bushist proponents of the Bush doctrine seem to accept (at least for now).

Abiola Lapite

Victor,

Thanks for the article recommendation, but I have to say I'm thoroughly unconvinced by it.

Apart from the fact that Fallows seems to devote perhaps 40% of the entire piece to extraneous material like the various qualifications and previous careers of the people he was interviewing, the use of PowerPoint, and other such picayune details, the reality is that we know what Iran's military capabilities are, and in any conventional struggle it would be a pushover.

Not only did Iran fail to best Iraq during their decade-long war, but the Iranian air-force mostly consists of kit sold to the Shah by the United States, most of which has since fallen into disrepair due to a lack of spare parts. All the talk of Iranian "retaliation" in Fallows' piece is just so much nonsense, to put it bluntly; what exactly would the Iranians "retaliate" with?

It would be one thing if I were advocating a "liberation" of Iran, with the accompanying danger of yet another entanglement, but I hold no such position; I'm sure the Iranians can take care of their own liberation. The military goals with Iran are strictly limited: eradicate every last trace of its nuclear program. If that manages to buy just "a few years", then it is still no bad thing, and much better than the alternative, which is letting an Islamist theocracy arm itself to the teeth with nukes. Fallows seems to forget that the Israeli strike on Osirak only bought "a few years" as well, but with the benefit of hindsight, those precious few years were more than worthwhile.

praktike

Er, they would retaliate with a massive uprising in Iraq and terrorist attacks against American interests in the Gulf and beyond?

Abiola Lapite

" they would retaliate with a massive uprising in Iraq and terrorist attacks against American interests in the Gulf and beyond?"

1 - You assume that the interests of Iraq's Shiites and those of Iran's leadership are identical.

2 - The Iranian leadership would have to keep in mind that terrorist attacks against American interests in the Gulf would invite a full-scale decapitation, very likely ensuing in their own deaths.

Kevin Brennan

As opposed to the wonderful, healthy life the Iranian leadership would have following an American invasion, Abiola?

Abiola Lapite

"As opposed to the wonderful, healthy life the Iranian leadership would have following an American invasion, Abiola?"

If I'd actually talked about an invasion you might have had a point ...

victor falk

If I'd actually talked about an invasion you might have had a point

so, wha'st your take on the next move against Iran?
Bombing the Pasdaran? The nuclear installations? Fomenting a coup/revolution? Unleashing the kurds? That seems to be Israel's option.
Or maybe something more outside of the box? How about a special op to assasinate all the hard-liners in one stroke?

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