View Full Version : Israelís Options on Iran

07-02-2009, 08:14 PM
John Bolton has a compelling and courageous analysis in the Washington Post today, making the case that Israel should bomb Iranís nuclear installations and do so quickly.

He argues that diplomacy has no chance of working, leaving only one serious option on the table if Iran is to be prevented from going nuclear. He adds a new and important point:

Significantly, the uprising in Iran also makes it more likely that an effective public diplomacy campaign could be waged in the country to explain to Iranians that such an attack is directed against the regime, not against the Iranian people.

This was always true, but it has become even more important to make this case emphatically, when the gulf between the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the citizens of Iran has never been clearer or wider.

Military action against Iranís nuclear program and the ultimate goal of regime change can be worked together consistently.

The only variable he doesnít mention is whether Israel has the intelligence necessary to inflict significant, long-term damage on Iranís nuclear program. SNIP

" For It's Own Survival Israel Simply Can Not Allow Iran To Go Nuclear !"

If Israelís intelligence agencies can provide reasonable assurance that the Israeli Air Force can derail the Iranian program for, say, six years, then the case for action becomes inescapable.

But if they can only delay Iran for six months, is it really worthwhile to risk all the consequences that would come from an air strike? Perhaps so; perhaps the loss of Israeli prestige and deterrence advantage from Iran going nuclear would be so great that even a symbolic strike is worthwhile.

But obviously, the case for action becomes much stronger if the Israeli Air Force can cripple the Iranian program rather than simply delay it for a very short time.

Of course, no intelligence agency can answer such questions with any precision. Certainly Americaís intelligence agencies, with their terrible track record regarding WMD in Iraq and other countries, cannot be counted upon to give an answer that will provide much assurance to policymakers.

We can only hope the Israelis have better information to allow them to reasonably assess the situation and act accordingly. Bolton is certainly right that counting on negotiations under the present circumstances is to admit defeat and allow Iran to go nuclear ó a scenario far more terrifying than the threat of Israeli military action