Friday, June 18, 2010

Understanding Iran's Threat

Gates: U.S. and Europe "Must Be Prepared for Iranian Missile Attack"
- Michael Evans

The U.S. and Europe need to be protected by 2020 from a potential attack from Iran that could involve "scores or even hundreds of missiles," U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned as he defended a U.S. plan to deploy a new, advanced shipborne anti-missile system...

Iran Cannot Be Contained -Bret Stephens

Quietly within the foreign-policy machinery of the Obama administration - and quite openly in foreign-policy circles outside it - the idea is taking root that a nuclear Iran is probably inevitable and that the U.S. must begin to shift its attention from forestalling the outcome to preparing for its aftermath with a policy of long-term containment and deterrence.

Many of containment's current advocates are former supporters of engagement with Iran. Having invested their hopes in President Obama's "outstretched hand," they now understand that Iran's hostility is fundamental to the regime's identity. The Islamic republic, it turns out, really means what it says when it chants "Death to America."

To suggest that there is some universal standard of "pragmatism" or "rationality" where Iran and the rest of the world can find common ground is a basic intellectual error.

A nuclear Iran would be unlike any nuclear power the world has known. It would be dangerous and unpredictable. While it could well be that the regime would not consider using its arsenal if it believed it could get its way through other means, the calculus could change if it felt threatened from within. Indeed, the closer the regime got to its deathbed, the more tempted it would be to bring its enemies along with it.

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