Monday, August 15, 2005
As I have said, my mind remains to be made up in regards to dealing with Iran. Dan Plesch has a piece in the Groan that makes me rethink the possible military options:
The conventional wisdom is that, even if diplomacy fails, the US is so bogged down in Iraq that it could not take on Iran. However, this misunderstands the capabilities and intentions of the Bush administration.
America's devastating air power is not committed in Iraq. Just 120 B52, B1 and B2 bombers could hit 5,000 targets in a single mission. Thousands of other warplanes and missiles are available. The army and marines are heavily committed in Iraq, but enough forces could be found to secure coastal oilfields and to conduct raids into Iran.
While the problems facing air strikes are significant, Israel's military nevertheless believes it has the means to cause serious damage to the Iranian nuclear capability.
Israel's cruise missiles, launched from planes or submarines, give the country a capability that it did not have in 1981 when it attacked the Iraqi reactor with a conventional bombing sortie.
"It's a bit more challenging in Iran but the military option remains a real one," said David Ivri, a retired Israeli air force officer who commanded Operation Opera, the attack on Iraq's reactor.
"After all, the aim would not be to neutralise the Iranian nuclear programme. That would be impossible. But what we could do is delay it considerably.
"That was our aim in Iraq and that is what we achieved - a very long delay.''
America and Britain must act where the international community has failed, and that their action is the responsible alternative to an Israeli attack
The problem on WMD is that Blair and Bush are doing too little, not too much. Why pick on Iran rather than India, Pakistan, Israel or Egypt - not to mention the west's weapons? In the era of Gorbachev and Reagan, political will created treaties that still successfully control many types of WMD. Revived, they would provide the basis for global controls. Iran must not be dealt with in isolation.