George Friedman on Iran
George Friedman has an article at Stratfor on the prospects for a U. S. attack on Iran which I commend to your attention. The article covers a lot of the territory that I have at my place on the subject over the last three years or so and the territory that James has covered here in a concise, informed manner.
Mr. Kennan describes the objectives of such an attack as:
1. Eliminating Iran’s nuclear program.
2. Crippling Iran by hitting its internal infrastructure — political, industrial and military — ideally forcing regime change that would favor U.S. interests.
3. Using an attack — or threatening an attack — to change Iranian behavior in Iraq, Lebanon or other areas of the world.
Read the Friedman article.
Since The prospects for achieving the objectives laid out by Mr. Friedman using a precision bombing campaign are virtually nill and the prospects for mustering the political support for a significantly broader campaign to include attacks on Iran’s economic, military, and political infrastructure are even worse, why does talk about such attacks continue?
I think there are a number of reasons
- The Bush Administration’s continued saber-rattling.
- The continuing truculent attitude of the Iranian regime along with its support for rogue regimes and terrorist groups.
- The usefulness of an attack on Iran as an illustration of the heinousness of the Bush Administration by the administration’s domestic political opponents.
Recall that for every example of saber-rattling from the administration there have been at least three restatements of the administration’s commitment to using diplomacy and economic sanctions in dealing with Iran. When you combine that with the impracticality of attacking Iran as pointed out by Mr. Friedman, it strongly suggests to me that such an attack is extremely unlikely to take place during the waning days of the Bush Administration.
But criticizing such an attack will remain politically handy so I expect the ball to remain in the air.