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View Full Version : The U.S. weighs the price of a pre-emptive strike against Iran


Warrior
Sep 20th, 2004, 02:09 PM
War-Gaming the Mullahs
The U.S. weighs the price of a pre-emptive strike
http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/msnbc/Sections/Newsweek/Components/Photos/mag/040927_Issue/040918_IranNukes_hd.hmedium.jpg AP
An Iranian reactor: Russia is helping Tehran build this plant in Bushehr

By John Barry and Dan Ephron
Newsweek

Sept. 27 issue - Unprepared as anyone is for a showdown with Iran, the threat seems to keep growing. Many defense experts in Israel, the United States and elsewhere believe that Tehran has been taking advantage of loopholes in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is now within a year of mastering key weapons-production technology. They can't prove it, of course, and Iran's leaders deny any intention of developing the bomb. Nevertheless, last week U.S. and Israeli officials were talking of possible military action—even though some believe it's already too late to keep Iran from going nuclear (if it chooses). "We have to start accepting that Iran will probably have the bomb," says one senior Israeli source. There's only one solution, he says: "Look at ways to make sure it's not the mullahs who have their finger on the trigger."

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placeAd(2,'newsweek.world/world')http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-adv/advertisers/300x250_sss_temp.gif (http://ad.doubleclick.net/click%3Bh=v3|318c|3|0|%2a|j%3B10637099%3B0-0%3B0%3B9270275%3B4307-300|250%3B6832045|6849941|1%3B%3B%7Esscs%3D%3fhttp ://ad.doubleclick.net/click;h=v2|3459|0|0|%2a|v;10565255;0-0;0;10223630;4307-300|250;6694226|6712122|1;;%3fhttp://www.britishairways.com/travel/offerus014/public/en_us) http://ad.doubleclick.net/imp;v1;f;10565255;0-0;0;10223630;300|250;6694226|6712122|1;;cs=x%3fhtt p://m.doubleclick.net/dot.gifhttp://ad.doubleclick.net/ad/newsweek.world;kw=world;sz=300x250;tile=2;ord=? (http://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/newsweek.world;kw=world;sz=300x250;tile=2;ord=?)Af ter the Iraq debacle, calls for regime change without substantial evidence of weapons of mass destruction are not likely to gain a lot of traction. But if the allegations are correct, Iran is only one of the countries whose secret nuclear programs hummed along while America waged a single-minded hunt for WMD in Iraq. Another is North Korea, which hasn't stopped claiming that it's turning a stockpile of spent fuel rods into a doomsday arsenal. And arms-control specialists are increasingly alarmed by Brazil's efforts to do precisely what Iran is doing: use centrifuge cascades to enrich uranium—with a couple of key differences. Unlike Iran, Brazil has never signed the NPT's Additional Protocol, which gives expanded inspection rights to the International Atomic Energy Agency. And unlike Iran, Brazil is not letting the IAEA examine its centrifuges. If the Brazilians go through with their program, it's likely to wreck the landmark 1967 treaty that made South America a nuclear-free zone. But the White House has shown scant concern about the risk.

The Iran crisis is more immediate in the eyes of the Bush administration, in part because Iran is among the president's "Axis of Evil." Israel, which has long regarded Iran as a more dire threat than Iraq, is making thinly veiled threats of a unilateral pre-emptive attack, like its 1981 airstrike against Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor. "If the state decides that a military solution is required, then the military has to provide a solution," said Israel's new Air Force chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Elyezer Shkedy, in a newspaper interview last week. "For obvious reasons," he added, "we aren't going to speak of specifics." U.S. defense experts doubt that Israel can pull it off. Iran's facilities (which it insists are for peaceful purposes) are at the far edge of combat range for Israel's aircraft; They're also widely dispersed and, in many cases, deep underground.

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A look at arsenals around the globe

But America certainly could do it—and has given the idea some serious thought. "The U.S. capability to make a mess of Iran's nuclear infrastructure is formidable," says veteran Mideast analyst Geoffrey Kemp. "The question is, what then?" NEWSWEEK has learned that the CIA and DIA have war-gamed the likely consequences of a U.S. pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. No one liked the outcome. As an Air Force source tells it, "The war games were unsuccessful at preventing the conflict from escalating."

Instead, administration hawks are pinning their hopes on regime change in Tehran—by covert means, preferably, but by force of arms if necessary. Papers on the idea have circulated inside the administration, mostly labeled "draft" or "working draft" to evade congressional subpoena powers and the Freedom of Information Act. Informed sources say the memos echo the administration's abortive Iraq strategy: oust the existing regime, swiftly install a pro-U.S. government in its place (extracting the new regime's promise to renounce any nuclear ambitions) and get out. This daredevil scheme horrifies U.S. military leaders, and there's no evidence that it has won any backers at the cabinet level.

getCSS("3222991");http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/Components/Art/NEWSWEEK/Standard%20Component%20Icons/nw_icon_audio_red.gifNEWSWEEK ON AIR | 9/19/04
Foreign Policy: Strong Men & Loose Nukes
Michael Hirsh, NEWSWEEK Senior Editor, Washington and Ian Bremmer, President of Eurasia Group, Cambridge, UK

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The NPT has never banned uranium enrichment. That didn't stop the United States, France, Germany and Britain from offering a draft resolution at last week's IAEA Governing Council meeting, demanding that Iran immediately cease such activity. Other council members quickly challenged the provision's legality. Some members of President George W. Bush's own party are throwing up their hands at such clumsy doings. "This administration's nonproliferation strategy consists of flailing around with a two-by-four," says one disgusted Republican elder statesman. And even the administration must realize that its Iran options are limited now by the chaos already overtaking Iraq.

[i][i]© 2004 Newsweek, Inc.

Hulet
Sep 20th, 2004, 02:27 PM
Here we go again. :rolleyes:

spartanfan
Sep 20th, 2004, 03:33 PM
I don't think GW will try and wage war with Iran before the election, but I think if he is reelected there will be a draft first, because the US is woefully low in terms of military personnel to pull this off and then he will start bombing Iran sometime next year in his second attempt to ward off WMD (again.)

Barrie_Dude
Sep 20th, 2004, 03:57 PM
Go Get Those Bastards, Georgie!:bounce:

PhoenixStorm
Sep 20th, 2004, 05:14 PM
Go Get Those Bastards, Georgie!:bounce:
spoken like a true republican neanderthal.

flyingmachine
Sep 20th, 2004, 05:24 PM
GWB :mad:

esquímaux
Sep 20th, 2004, 05:26 PM
Bush :o:o:o:o:o And Kerry isn't appealing to me either :bs:

Barrie_Dude
Sep 20th, 2004, 05:31 PM
spoken like a true republican neanderthal.Bleeding heart liberal weenie!

Volcana
Sep 20th, 2004, 09:14 PM
Go Get Those Bastards, Georgie!What exactly have the people of Iran done that you consider them bastards that deserve to have their homes destroys, the families killed, livelihoods ruined, et al. That's what war is? The Iraqi people, with a population a tenth of our ours, have now suffered five times the deaths we did on September 11, something they had nothing to do with. In terms of sheer death, as a proportion of the population, that's like saying Iraq has now suffered, because we invaded, FIFTY September 11ths.

I'm still waiting to hear what the people of Iraq did to have death on such a scale visited on them by the United States.

But you're eager to murder Iranians too. Why?

For example, in 75% of Iraq, the people are now drinking raw sewage, becasue we destroyed the water treatment plants, and haven't repaired them. And no, the insurgents are NOT blowing up water treatment plants.

What exactly has Iran done that you are so eager to condemn their people to a similar fate. I assume it's NOT just because you like seeing people in foreign countries murdered. But I suppose we could take that as your default position. Until you provide us with another one.

Barrie_Dude
Sep 20th, 2004, 11:21 PM
What exactly have the people of Iran done that you consider them bastards that deserve to have their homes destroys, the families killed, livelihoods ruined, et al. That's what war is? The Iraqi people, with a population a tenth of our ours, have now suffered five times the deaths we did on September 11, something they had nothing to do with. In terms of sheer death, as a proportion of the population, that's like saying Iraq has now suffered, because we invaded, FIFTY September 11ths.

I'm still waiting to hear what the people of Iraq did to have death on such a scale visited on them by the United States.

But you're eager to murder Iranians too. Why?

For example, in 75% of Iraq, the people are now drinking raw sewage, becasue we destroyed the water treatment plants, and haven't repaired them. And no, the insurgents are NOT blowing up water treatment plants.

What exactly has Iran done that you are so eager to condemn their people to a similar fate. I assume it's NOT just because you like seeing people in foreign countries murdered. But I suppose we could take that as your default position. Until you provide us with another one.Lets see, they have supported terrorisim by sending troops'terrorists into Iraq to kill Americans and to prolong the war. They took hostages several years ago and we should have bombed them then. As long as regimes such as they have in Iran, the West (including Europe) will never be safe.

Volcana
Sep 21st, 2004, 01:09 AM
Lets see, they have supported terrorisim by sending troops'terrorists into Iraq to kill Americans and to prolong the war.Find me one source anywhere that says Iran is sending troops to Iraq. Try Fox. They don't worry about facts. You might recall a nine year long war Iran fought vs Iraq. They were perfectly happy to see Hussein overthrown. Further, they are Shiites. Shiites were an oppressed majority in Iraq. The Iranians WANT us to establish a 'one man, one vote' democracy in Iraq. Because the Shiites, being 60% of the population, will dominate it.They took hostages several years ago and we should have bombed them then.We DID bomb. By arming Saddam Hussein repeatly during a nine year war against them. We sold Saddam Hussein the nerve gas he used on them.As long as regimes such as they have in Iran, the West (including Europe) will never be safe.What Western country could Iran win two BATTLES against, much less a war? This IS such a thing as NATO. Attacking one Western country brings a host of them down on your head. But just as of curiosity, which Western country have they threatened? I don't know of any. Sure they've threatened to retaliate if invaded, but that's their right.

They have no Navy to speak of, no Air Force to speak, and no long range missile capability to speak of. And their borders are indefensible.

Paranoia is all fine and good, but what actually THREAT does Iran pose? Other than not believing the same things as you?

If September 11th was an atrocity, what's declaring WAR on a country that isn't attacking you, and hasn't the capability of atacking you? If 2800 dead is a horror, what's 28,000 dead?

What ARE you, that you can so blithely advocate, no CHEER on war, knowing it will cause the deaths of thousands of innocents, and injure hundreds of thousands of innocents.

You say 'the west will never be safe'. From what? The September 11th hijackers used boxcutters and plastic knives. The west will never be 'safe' as long as there's such a thing as a sharpened stick.

Being fearful is NOT a reason to kill people. ESPECIALLY when you have the most powerful military in recorded history.