April 14, 2006
One Can't Deter the Undeterrable
I don't buy that Iran has thousands of centrifuges ready to pump out enriched uranium. The chance of them having those is as good as the effectiveness of their "super weapons" like the stealth flying boat and underwater missile.
Still, Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an apocalyptic nutcase who said Israel is "headed toward annihilation." "The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm."
I'd have no problem with Iran having nukes if I thought she was deterrable. India and Pakistan both possess nuclear weapons, but their leaders realize Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) wouldn't be in the best interests of their nations. With Ahmadinejad he might think he is the person to bring about the end times with the return of the Twelfth Imam. Nuking Israel may be Ahmadinejad's manner of doing it. One can't deter someone from not using a nuclear weapon if he believes he will be better of by using it. A Cold War-style MAD strategy won't work.
Practically speaking a full-scale invasion of Iran is out of the question. There isn't enough manpower with operations going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, there isn't the political will anywhere, not in pacifist Europe nor in the U.S. (It will take Iran using a nuclear weapon on Israel or someone else before Europeans or U.S. anti-warriors take the threat seriously.) Economic sanctions will be Iran's punishment along with the specter of U.S. airstrikes that could include the haunting possiblity of the third-ever use of nuclear weapons in conflict.
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