Why Not to Attack Iran

The pressure for an attack on Iran is building. Media reports suggest that the Obama administration is under pressure to take action and may even be considering action itself, and Foreign Affairs published an article in its opening 2012 issue by nuclear expert Matthew Kroenig forthrightly stating that it is “time to attack Iran.” Many argue that strikes against Iran’s nuclear program are the only responsible course. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared on December 18 that if the United States receives “intelligence that [the Iranians] are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon, then we will take whatever steps necessary to stop it.” And former White House Middle East chief Dennis Ross suggested in a December 23 op-ed that, if pressure fails, the military option is the only sensible recourse. The United States cannot live with a nuclear Iran, he argues.

The reality, however, is that attacking Iran without provocation is a dangerous course. The arguments for avoiding military strikes are well known: deterrence, while neither easy nor cheap, can work; the costs of likely Iranian retaliation outweigh the likely benefits, perhaps markedly; and the United States (and its allies) have considered preventive attacks against adversary nuclear programs before, thought the better of it and come out tolerably.

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Sin Nombre (January 11, 2012 - 9:50am)

The authors write:"It’s probably best not to start down a road that has no end in sight."Ah but they miss the fact that some of those wanting to start down that road like that idea.  

Dansmith17 (January 12, 2012 - 6:02am)

There is an assumption that we simply make a strike and destroy the nuclear infrastructure and the Iranians do nothing  a la Reagan strikes on Ghadaffi in the 1980's.Well one Ghadaffi was still in power 30 years later and he actually increased his intention to get WMD after those strikes. He changed position after Saddam was overthrown which was full scale invasion and occupation. Iran is in a much better position to hit back with the narrowness of the Gulf as opposed to the Med. simply the threat of restricting oil through the gulf would put prices up which is bad for Europe and US and good for Iran.There is a nonsensical self belief among some that assumes, Iran is opposed to US, US is good, Iran people must oppose bad Government, bomb Iran is good, Iran people will thank us! It is nonsense but it makes a popular talking point amongst Republican politics in the US, some do not really actually want to bomb Iran, or care what happens the day after if someone else does, but they make money from talking about it. The issue is not Iran but internal US politics!

Khan Jan Baloch (January 15, 2012 - 10:22am)

Yes, the issue is the internal U.S. politics to safeguard the freedom and security of U.S. and their allies but  totally ignoring the saftey and human right abuses by Iran to the minority ethnic nations  i.e. from Kurds to Ahwazis to Azeris to Baluchs. If you are dear to your own freedom, you have to respect the freedom of others and  the political and military strategy should be based on the freedom of small ethnic minority nations of Iran and defeat the Persian Shia Shaunism. This is the only  light in the end of the tunnel to curb Iranian adventurism who dream to  become  the rascist Hitler-Nazi  regimes in 21st century. If the free states of Kurds, Ahwazis and Baluchs are created, Iran shall be pushed back from Strait of Hormuz about 300 Km away and the new independent States shall safeguard the flow of Hydrocarban in Baluch Gulf (Persian Gulf). The free state of Sistan-va-baluchistan shall be a bonus because of the safe communication from the port of Chahbahar to Afghanistan and to the Central Asian countries. In the long run, Persian shall be obliged  to abandon their nuclear program.It`s so simple and easy solution to solve the problem of Iran.

alone17 (September 28, 2013 - 9:58am)

But they generate income from referring to it. The problem is not Iran but inner US politics! home remedies for Incontinence

jn27 (September 30, 2013 - 3:09am)

Ah but they skip the point that some of those seeking to begin down that street like that concept. SEO

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jn27 (October 8, 2013 - 1:30am)

POreventive attacks against adversary nuclear programs before, thought the better of it and come out tolerably. cast iron lamp post

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