Sunday :: Oct 1, 2006

No War With Iran?

by soccerdad

I had convinced myself that Bush would authorize an attack on Iran. An article in today’s Times of London suggests that there will be no attack. It reports that was the conclusion of a secret meeting of US intelligence analysts.

Bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities was rejected on the grounds that the intelligence needed for successful air strikes was lacking. “We only have an imperfect understanding of the extent and location of the Iranian programme,” said one source with knowledge of the meeting. “Even if we got the order to blow it up, we wouldn’t know how to.”

The White House’s earlier enthusiasm for military strikes if all else failed has cooled after warnings from the Pentagon and intelligence analysts that the risk to reward ratio of taking action was too high. At best 80% of the targets are mapped out and then only sketchily. The “collateral damage” to civilians could be considerable, sources say.

General John Abizaid, commander of US forces in the Middle East, John Negroponte, director of national intelligence, and Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state have all expressed doubts about attacking Iran.
“President Bush is not going to take military action against the advice of the secretary of state, US generals and the director of national intelligence,” Clawson said.

However, the pessimist and skeptic in me picked up on the following:
“The conclusion is that America is going to have to live with the bomb unless there’s some miracle, such as a major accident, a major defector or an orange revolution,” the source added,

The Tonkin Gulf incident came to mind.
And here’s another route to war with Iran:
The biggest deterrent might come from the Israelis, not the Americans. Israeli defence sources are increasingly convinced that it will fall to them to stop a nuclear Iran. In their view Iran should not be allowed to get to the “point of no return” where it has the know-how to build a bomb.
“The Israelis are going to have to make a decision earlier than we do,” Clawson said. “That’s a real problem for us.”

Of course we would have to come to the aid of our ally.

soccerdad :: 3:49 AM :: Comments (7) :: Digg It!