Contemplating the Ifs

There's no Hollywood solution to dealing with Iran--just a bunch of bad options.

Issue: Spring 2006

THE WAR drums are reverberating while warnings about an Iranian nuclear threat are becoming more frequent and dire. The 2005 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) concludes that Iran, if left to its own devices, is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon. In making a judgment about the soundness of that estimate, it would be prudent to recall the October 2002 NIE on Iraq's WMD capability. That estimate proved to be altogether wrong in alleging the existence of such programs in Iraq. Should we wager that the estimate on Iran is more accurate?

You must be a subscriber of The National Interest to access this article. If you are already a subscriber, please activate your online access. Not a subscriber? Become a subscriber today!