17 April 2006

Nuclear Iran

Via Yglasias, I note that James Fallows has a fascinating article about wargaming a confrontation with Iran about their development of nuclear weapons.
The experts disagreed on some details but were nearly unanimous on one crucial point: what might seem America's ace in the hole—the ability to destroy Iran's nuclear installations in a pre-emptive air strike—was a fantasy. When exposed to "What then?" analysis, this plan (or a variant in which the United States looked the other way while Israel did the job) held more dangers than rewards for the United States. How could this be, given America's crushing strength and wealth relative to Iran's?
At best, it would slow Iranian nuclear projects by a few years. But the cost of buying that time would likely be a redoubling of Iran’s determination to get a bomb—and an increase in its bitterness toward the United States.
Yglasias reminds us that Fallows has some crediblity, by virtue of being prescient about Iraq.

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