Saturday, March 15, 2008

If Diplomacy Fails?

Who are they kidding? Diplomacy has failed! There’s a lot of talk about us going to war or not going to war with Iran and a lot if people say “If diplomacy fails we will.” After three rounds of UN sanctions against Iran and Iran continuing to say that nothing will stop them from enriching uranium, diplomacy has failed. There is nothing else we want to reach diplomatically other than Iran to stop enriching Uranium before they have enough to build a nuclear bomb. If Iran has announced they will not do this than there is not much room for diplomacy, in fact all that can be done is to repeat the same things we have already done that have not worked. Once Iran has enough uranium (some say as soon as the end of this year) there’s no going back. Creating the uranium is the hard part the rest is not simple but could be done it seems without too much effort. We have tried for three or more years to get diplomacy to work with Iran and now we have less than one year left.

Now the question left is will Israel or the United States attack Iran? We will obviously not attack Iran with ground troops because of the many problems with such an attack so lets look at the feasibility of bombing Iran. Regardless of the headlines of the NIE not being true and even some authors trying to back out of it Bush seems to have lost the political capital that he believes he needs to do anything. Israel has said in the past that we will act alone if necessary. Recently Israel has been saying that Iran is not just an Israeli problem. This is true but it seems they are really pushing hard to get others to help them strike Iran. The Israeli president Shimon Perez (who has little authority) has said that Israel will not act alone, but when asked if Prime Minister Olmert was in agreement with that statement he avoided the question. I think this means that Bush has made it clear that we will probably not strike Iran unless they commit a very major provocation, and that Israel is trying to change his mind. So I think the U.S. attacking Iran is not likely.Israel has proven that they will defend themselves and that will attack first if they thing they must. The biggest question is, does Israel have the capability to strike Iran? It is known that we have sold them bunker busting missiles that will be needed to attack the underground nuclear facilities. The U.S. has proven that it will provide Israel with some means of missile defense either by selling them to them or by having our warships with the aegis class missile defense system nearby. This would be needed when Iran, Hezbollah or others respond to the attack with missiles. The biggest question though is, can Israel manage such a long-range mission? Israel’s jets can not fly the distance to Iran and back without refueling. A paper written by a two doctoral candidates at MIT entitled “Osirak Redux” details all of the technical details on the feasibility of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Their conclusion was that it could be reasonably done. Israel can do it it’s just a matter of do they think it’s necessary? I think they do, but on the other hand I would not be surprised if they don’t and Iran becomes a nuclear nation. If this happens Iran may not announce it but it will be known.

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