The Financial Times takes a skeptical look at claims that there’s an imminent plan to retaliate against Iran. They examine the political and military difficulties of such a strike and find that it’s unlikely to happen.
At the same time, Barry Rubin reiterates why it is we should be worried about Iran’s nuclear program. Even though the military option isn’t going to be played out soon, the time for the diplomatic option is running out. We don’t know when Iran might be able to produce a nuclear bomb. It could be as soon as 2009. We do know that its in nobody’s interest for that to happen. If diplomacy fails, then and only then will the military option become truly viable—and even then we can’t be sure whether it would be effective or not.
All the furor on Capitol Hill over the mere possibility of an attack paradoxically makes such an attack more likely. If Iran knows that the United States would not hesitate to massively retaliate against an Iranian nuclear test or against Iran’s nuclear program should we even suspect they have a bomb, that creates a powerful incentive not to take that final step. However, if they think that the US will roll over and let them obtain nuclear weapons, they will do so. In a time when we need to present a united diplomatic front that makes it clear that Iranian nukes are unacceptable, Democrats are playing politics. This is another key example of why the majority of the Democratic Party still can’t be trusted on national security issues—a party so willing to sacrifice the broad national interest for partisan gain is not sufficiently responsible to lead.
We cannot allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons. An unstable regime with that kind of power is a threat to everyone’s security. The world has a choice: either stand united or face worse consequences down the road. There is a slim chance that diplomatic and political pressure can stall Tehran’s run towards the bomb. So long as that chance remains, it’s unlikely that either the US or Israel will risk an attack. However, if Tehran remains intransigent, the clock will eventually run down and we’ll have no choice.
We have one last chance to prevent the necessity of attacking Iran. However, we can’t do that in an environment where our own politicians are preemptively rolling over to Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. We have to be strong and united on this issue to forestall a war: and when partisan politics is trumping national security it only makes the necessity of military conflict that much greater.