Sergey Markedonov. The National Interest, 4 May 2012.
The Iranian problem stands out on the international agenda. But it is much broader and more diverse than Iran’s desire to acquire a nuclear bomb. Iran is accused of being a source of both regional instability and far-reaching geopolitical ambitions. Although today’s Iran demonstrates a desire to play in the international geopolitical game, it remains primarily a regional power with a significant presence in the Middle East, Central Asia and the South Caucasus.
Mark Mazzetti and Thom Shanker. New York Times, 19 March 2012.
A classified war simulation held this month to assess the repercussions of an Israeli attack on Iran forecasts that the strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds of Americans dead, according to American officials.
Paul Pillar. Washington Monthly, March/April 2012.
Fears of a bomb in Tehran’s hands are overhyped, and a war to prevent it would be a disaster.
Jim Lobe. AntiWar.com, 25 February 2012.
Despite the IAEA’s apparent lack of progress, Iran’s acceptance last week of a long-standing request from EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on behalf of the P5+1 to resume negotiations, stalled for over a year, makes it likely that a new round of talks will take place in late March or April, probably in Istanbul…Anticipation of those talks, as well as the rapid escalation of tensions over the last two months, particularly between Israel and Iran, has provoked a flurry of proposals to revive the dormant diplomatic track, if only to calm a situation threatening to spin out of control.
Alireza Nader. RAND, 23 February 2012.
Khamenei is not an irrational actor… His possible intent in developing a nuclear weapons capability almost certainly is not to destroy Israel, but rather to guard against a foreign attack or counter an internal challenge.
Now that speculation and discussion of a possible attack from Israel on Iranian nuclear development facilities is rampant, it is time to bring back a review I did on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq:
First Strike Guidelines: The Case of Iraq
Project on Defense Alternatives Briefing Memo #25
by Charles Knight, 16 September 2002 (revised and updated 10 March 2003)
…despite the repeated use of the term “preemption” to describe their counterproliferation strategy (see the 2002 National Security Strategy), the Bush administration’s strategic approach to Iraq is one of preventive war. The U.S. Department of Defense defines preventive war as “war initiated in the belief that military conflict, while not imminent, is inevitable, and that to delay would involve greater risk” while it defines preemptive attack as “an attack initiated on the basis of incontrovertible evidence that an enemy attack is imminent.” Preventive war has long been understood to be highly destabilizing and it is nearly impossible to reconcile it with the notions of non-aggression imbedded in the United Nations Charter.
Paul Chapin and George Petrolekas. CDA Institute, February 2012.
Paul Rogers. Open Democracy, 11 November 2011.
The near-unavoidable reality is that out of confrontation Iran will soon acquire a limited nuclear arsenal. This is because even a limited bombing of Iran will create a new dynamic where Iran is at the centre of the post-attack region; will have several new options to impose costs on its opponents; and will go full-tilt for its own deterrent.
Kelsey Hartigan. Democracy Arsenal, 10 November 2011.
If Romney believes that he can waltz into the Oval Office, give a few rough and tough speeches and suddenly Iran will open its doors to IAEA inspectors, well, he’s in for a rude awakening.
Belligerent rhetoric won’t solve the situation with Iran. In fact, most experts will tell you that it will make it worse. Threats of military action, or worse, actual military action, will only play into the hands of Iran’s hardliners…If a U.S. military presence was going to convince Iran to cooperate, I would have thought it would have happened by now.
Joby Warrick. Washington Post, 06 December 2009.
There is no military solution. . . If a country is bombed, you give them every reason — with the support of everybody in the country and outside the country — to go for nuclear weapons, and nobody can even blame them.
Galrahn. Information Dissemination, 03 October 2009.
When I see the story saying “President Obama has reaffirmed a 4-decade-old secret understanding that has allowed Israel to keep a nuclear arsenal without opening it to international inspections,” I read it as not only protecting Israel’s right to have nuclear weapons, but Israel seeking assurances in writing that they have the right to use nuclear weapons if necessary… perhaps on a well protected nuclear facility.
After all, if Israel is willing to accept the risk of attacking Iran knowing full well a few conventional bombs could very easily cost the United States its strategic objectives in both Afghanistan and Iraq, efforts paid for with 8 years of American blood; Israel will make damn sure they destroy what they intend to in an attack on Iran. This whole issue is about whether Israel assesses that Iran will use nuclear weapons against Israel. If the defensive purpose of nuclear weapons is to defend a country from being attacked with nuclear weapons, and defending Israel from potential Iranian nuclear weapon use against Israel is the issue here, then I think Israel use of nuclear weapons must be considered as part of the calculus.
Disbelieve Israel would go nuclear all you want, but Israels short, modern history is one of Israel consistently taking enormous risks, both politically and militarily. It is the rule rather than the exception, something we should not forget; particularly considering that the new buried and concealed nuclear site everyone is discussing is in Qom – a Shi’a Islam holy city.
Richard L. Kugler. National Defense University, September 2009.
Eugene Gholz and Daryl G. Press. presented at America and the World, a Tobin Project Conference at Airlie, 14-16 November 2008. Hosted on the Commonwealth Institute website.
… an “over-the-horizon” approach would protect vital US oil interests without incurring the serious costs of the current strategy. It would counter the traditional military threats to Gulf oil interests as effectively as the current strategy, and it would do a better job mitigating the more serious future threats in the Gulf: terrorism against oil infrastructure and domestic instability within oil-producing countries. Furthermore, an over-the-horizon approach would bring US policy in line with American values.