Tuesday, February 07, 2006
How To Deal With A Nuclear Iran
Nile Gardiner and John Hulsman have an interesting proposal, which they seem to think will work as a last-ditch attempt to deter Iran: invite Israel to join NATO.
In contrast to that, there is a most thought-provoking discussion going on at The Officer's Club blog, dealing with military options -- Israeli military options in particular.
Personally, I lean more towards the latter discussion than the former. While adding Israel to NATO might well be an admirable idea in its own right, I don't see this as a way to deter Iran from much of anything. (When was the last time NATO united to defend one of its member-states under attack? Perhaps more to the point, when was the last time NATO failed to do so?) I also would not be surprised to see significant opposition, within NATO, at the prospect of Israel joining their ranks.
The military options, contrary to conventional wisdom on the subject, are varied. One commenter at The Officer's Club has already reminded us that "loose lips sink ships" -- meaning that we should not be war-gaming this scenario with the enemy listening in. Nonetheless, Israel does have many options open to her, in terms of strategic assets she is known to possess.
And don't rule out the United States. As many have pointed out, it is certainly not coincidence that caused Iran to have U.S. troops on two of her borders, in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Personally, my expectation is that it will be Israel that acts to rid the world of an Iranian nuclear menace... but quite possibly with significant help from the United States. A lightning assault upon Iran, without warning, is not in character for the United States... but it would be very much in character for Israel. Israel has a long history of doing what needs to be done, without waiting for permission, and dealing with the consequences later.
Both posts are well worth your time. By all means, have a look.