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Iran's Nuclear Weapons
February 27, 2006 6:10 PM   Subscribe

Jeffrey Lewis: Iran & the Bomb. A comprehensive examination.
posted by panoptican (42 comments total)

 
So if I get the drift of what this fellow (who certainly seems to know his stuff) is saying, Iran is likely a good ten years off from being able to field a nuclear weapon of any substance, and if she could, it would likely be a nagasaki sized warhead.

Further, it appears that even should Iran be able to develop and build the necessary centrifuge and other refining equipment to build such a device, the level their payload delivery systems technology is such that she would likely be limited in range to merely threatening her immediate neighbors.
posted by stenseng at 6:44 PM on February 27, 2006


Sounds as if Iran poses about as much an "imminent threat" to the US as Iraq did. Guess we better invade.
posted by stenseng at 6:45 PM on February 27, 2006


Why deal with today what you can put off till tomorrow?
posted by Mick at 7:21 PM on February 27, 2006


wow, that blog looks like a good authoritative research tool for digging deeper than the crap we get in the news about wmd.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:27 PM on February 27, 2006


Is Burma the Next Iran?
posted by homunculus at 7:28 PM on February 27, 2006


Sounds as if Iran poses about as much an "imminent threat" to the US as Iraq did.

Not to the US. To the 51st state.
posted by dhartung at 7:37 PM on February 27, 2006


Somehow the article would have more credibility if it didn't start out with "When some moron ...."
posted by storybored at 8:17 PM on February 27, 2006


excellent post ... nice to see some detailed information on this for once
posted by pyramid termite at 8:24 PM on February 27, 2006


storybored:

From my experience, scientists have nothing but contempt for those who don't understand science-related topics but nevertheless speak about them, particularly to the public
posted by Pontius Pilate at 8:45 PM on February 27, 2006


storybored
When the story starts out refering to Charles Krauthammer as a moron, that's plenty of credibility for those of us who've read Krauthammer's bizarre rantings. One may as well have started the article 'The Chicken Little know as Charles Krauthammer has stated.' for all the credibility he has.
If he was calling someone with credibility a moron, that would be different, but he's refering to Charles Krauthammer, who is indeed a moron.
posted by mk1gti at 9:14 PM on February 27, 2006


Jeffrey Lewis is a Research Fellow at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy (CISSM). His research focuses on the space policy component of CISSM’s Advanced Methods of Cooperative Security Program, which is generously funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Dr. Lewis is also member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists...

Paul Kerr is a research analyst at the Arms Control Association covering missile and nuclear non-proliferation issues. These include missile and weapons of mass destruction programs in South Asia, Northeast Asia, and the Persian Gulf regions. Additionally, he covers Israel’s status within the international non-proliferation regime and U.S. non-proliferation policy. Mr. Kerr also contributes articles to Arms Control Today, the Association’s publication.
ArmsControlWonk? Nay, ArmsControlUberWonks is more like it. And read the stuff about China, too.
...Perhaps your anxiety about "marginal improvements" to China's missile force would recede as you learned that China's 18 ICBMs, sitting unfueled in their silos, their nuclear warheads in storage, are essentially the same as they were the day China began deploying them in 1981. In fact, contrary to reports you might have recently read that Chinese nukes number in the hundreds--if not the thousands--the true size of the country's operationally deployed arsenal is probably about 80 nuclear weapons.
posted by y2karl at 9:18 PM on February 27, 2006


I first read the title as "Jerry Lewis: Iran & the Bomb". Needless to say I was disappointed when I actually read the article.
posted by dopeypanda at 10:16 PM on February 27, 2006


The Atlantic wargaming link buried somewhere in one of those reads was fascinating stuff too. Short summary - the USA can do SFA about Iran militarily.

Which means that the only possible course of action is diplomatic, and multilateral. Oh dear, who's in charge at the white house?
posted by wilful at 10:34 PM on February 27, 2006


.
posted by russilwvong at 11:33 PM on February 27, 2006


Oh Nice Mr. Iranian, STOP WITH THE HITTING AND THE HURTING AND THE PLUTONIUMATING!!!


Freunleven!
posted by stenseng at 11:41 PM on February 27, 2006


This line if reasoning needs to be always be followed up with "OIL! THE PRESIDENT'S HANDLERS KILL FOR OIL!" or else it suggests that if Iran was closer to being nuclear-capable, we might be justified in trying to stop it. Otherwise, you get a situation like Iraq where the government makes up a completely fake justification so that everyone just shrugs when they're told "Didn't find any weapons. But we might as well stay anyway." When it was really about oil all along.

The problem I have with "OMG! Nukes!" is that I'm pretty sure that the US has nuclear weapons. So this is basically the case of an alcoholic threatening to beat someone up because the other party won't stop drinking.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:44 AM on February 28, 2006


Please...regardless of the lies, etcetera that we've been buried in these many years, Iran having the bomb is not the same as the U.S. having the bomb. You can make the case that having it'll provoke some maturation, but it's not the same today. At least Pakistan has another regional power to keep it in check, hopefully.
posted by atchafalaya at 6:01 AM on February 28, 2006


regardless of the lies, etcetera that we've been buried in these many years, Iran having the bomb is not the same as the U.S. having the bomb.

How do you make a structured argument to a lesser power about that?

"No, see, you're not responsible enough to have nuclear weapons. We can only have them because we're so responsible with them. We've only used them twice. And we make the rules. We appointed ourselvs cops of the world. And might makes right."
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:17 AM on February 28, 2006


atchafalaya: At least Pakistan has another regional power to keep it in check, hopefully.

And Iran doesn't?
posted by Chuckles at 6:35 AM on February 28, 2006


atchafalaya: "Seriously, guys, Iran can't have nukes. Because they're like, Arab, and kill people and stuff. We're the good guys."
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:50 AM on February 28, 2006


A major US intelligence review last August found that Iran's about 10 years away from having a nuclear weapon.

The US, and especially the current administration, doesn't have any business telling Iran it can't have nuclear weapons.

We have nuclear weapons. Israel has nuclear weapons. Why shouldn't Iran have nuclear weapons?

Ooh, they signed a treaty? George Bush doesn't care about treaties. The UN is obsolete. The Geneva Conventions are quaint. How can we violate or disregard treaties and except other countries to follow them? I guess the same way it's OK for us to have nukes but bad for other countries to have them.

Maturation? President Bush made up an Axis of Evil and started attacking the countries on it. Iran's on the list. The US didn't attack the country on the list that has nuclear weapons, and attacked the country that didn't have any NBC weapons. President Bush has provided Iran with the motivation for wanting nuclear weapons and with the example for ignoring international obligations to do what you want.

Maybe we could spend some time on the road map to peace and reduce tensions in the Middle East, which could reduce both Iran's motivation for wanting nuclear weapons and the risk of their having them. We're a little behind on the road map, which called for a "final, permanent status resolution in 2005," but President Bush keeps saying we're fully committed.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:03 AM on February 28, 2006


Nice...that's nice.

Hey, they're not Arab. They're Persian.

What I worry about is the Basij invoking the bomb as their claim to legitimacy: "You're too immature to run the country - we have the bomb!"

I don't think we're making a structured argument to Iran; we're making an argument to the rest of the world along these lines. I was amazed to read about the Clinton administration's negotiations with the Chinese to stop the enrichment.

Bottom line: it's in everybody's interest to delay the development of the bomb in Iran.
posted by atchafalaya at 7:11 AM on February 28, 2006


What about .... these people's interests?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:19 AM on February 28, 2006


Isn't it in everybody's interest for America to give up their own nuclear program?

The only use they have is for deterrence and there's no state that wants to nuke us. (If you say "terrorists", sit in the corner and think about it until you figure out what's wrong with your answer.)

Let's quit playing Russian Roulette; the Russians already had to leave the table and playing indefinitely is a losing proposition.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:24 AM on February 28, 2006


Sure. I recall this man said we could give up our nukes, and he ought to know. That doesn't mean the Iranians should have it, though.

The fundamentalist leaders of Iran have a legitimate need, from their perspective, for the bomb. We have an equally legit need to prevent or delay them getting it.

Hey, however loathsome the prez and his posse, two more years and he's gone. Not so with Iran.

When apartheid ended in South Africa, they gave up the bomb immediately and peaceably. That might not happen in Iran. What's the worst that could happen?
posted by atchafalaya at 7:33 AM on February 28, 2006


It just seems like the best way to stop nuclear proliferation is to remove the incentive.

Iran gets absolutely no benefit from this, other than to answer the threat of the US or Israel or someone pre-emptively nuking them one day.

If they didn't have that pressure, what reason would they have for pursuing this wildly unpopular program that may yet get them invaded?

We all know what's happened to their rival Iraq. Iran stands to do pretty well barring a costly war with the US.

It is my opinion that the Iranian nuclear threat is pretty much BS, BS that's a minimum of a decade away. They are by any measure less of a threat to human life than some other countries we could mention.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:46 AM on February 28, 2006


And we make the rules. We appointed ourselvs cops of the world. And might makes right.

Basically, yeah, except that you don't need to assert that might makes right, only that might is might. International relations isn't a fairness contest, where you win if you can show that another power is being TOTALLY hypocritical. It's a contest of self-interest, force and the threat of force, and various positive inducements.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:53 AM on February 28, 2006


We have nuclear weapons. Israel has nuclear weapons. Why shouldn't Iran have nuclear weapons?

Oooooh. You're so in trouble now.

Let me see if I remember some of the the arguments why Iran should not go nuclear... um...

...Because that will spark Israel to bomb them touching off WWIII. Yeah. Yeah. I know. Every war in the region was supposed touch off WWIII... and di-n't.

...Because them crazy Mullahs will share the "nuk-ular seekrets" with Syria. Sure. Sure I know. Syria is Ba'athist. And Secular. And where Syria isn't secular, it's 78% Sunni (to Iran's 90% Shi'a). And you know ya can't trust them Ay-rabs. And Syrians are Ay-rabs.

Those are my favorites I've heard so far.
posted by tkchrist at 11:47 AM on February 28, 2006


The mullahs need the bomb not just for us, but to keep from getting voted out...

Ah, forget it. Certainly. More people having the bomb is something we should all look forward to. Remember that judge, who allegedly beat that woman to death with his shoe? Can I get more than a repeat of the same old party line stuff here?
posted by atchafalaya at 12:45 PM on February 28, 2006


We have nuclear weapons. Israel has nuclear weapons. Why shouldn't Iran have nuclear weapons?

Nobody should have nuclear weapons. A 1977 interview with George F. Kennan:
But for goodness' sake, we have to act in a big way, we have to dismantle this. Martin, no one in the world, including our finest statesmen, including myself or anybody you want to name, or yourself, no one is good enough, wise enough, steady enough, to have control over the volume of explosives that now rest in the hands of this country. We're all little people; we have our good days, our bad days; we make mistakes. These things shouldn't exist at all.
But that's no reason to be blase about Iran developing nuclear weapons. The more countries that have nuclear weapons, the more dangerous the situation becomes. We don't have enough historical experience with nuclear weapons to be able to predict the outcome of increased proliferation.

It's not just the US that's working on preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Britain, France, and Germany have been working pretty hard on the problem as well.
posted by russilwvong at 1:12 PM on February 28, 2006


Basically, yeah, except that you don't need to assert that might makes right, only that might is might. International relations isn't a fairness contest, where you win if you can show that another power is being TOTALLY hypocritical. It's a contest of self-interest, force and the threat of force, and various positive inducements.

Not so. Like in society, this is usually the most true of those fighting tooth and nail to be at the top of the heap, but if you look at those a little further down in the middle class, you start to find people (and countries) that are concerned with the fair rule of law, and who do make some measure of sacrifice for the greater good - to make a system that is more fair and more right.

Alternatively, you could keep the "everyone only cares about number one" premise and simply accept that a lot of people/countries view global stability under a fair rule of law as massively beneficial to themselves, and that (almost) everyone else would benefit as well is just gravy on top of that. What goes around, comes around. To many, the best thing a country can do for its own interests is work towards a fair and stabile world, even when this hurts some in the short term, and yes, you can see this reflected in global politics. That the backstabbing and short-term money grubbing is more noticeable doesn't mean that that's all that is going on.

A lawless town or country is great when you're a gangster on the up and up and young enough to hold your place and too stupid to realise you'll die of a gunshot before you're twenty, or if you're at the top of the heap and have people to defend you from your, but any country with a system of law will run rings around it. In many cases it's the difference between the third world experience and developed nation. The benefits of law and fairness on an international scale are too immense for too many for the gangsters to keep it from happening forever just to preserve their little feudal empires. Unfortunately, history suggests that keeping everyone in line with viciousness and might can work for a long long time.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:52 PM on February 28, 2006


Not so. Like in society--

There's a pretty big difference between international politics and domestic politics.

From the alt.politics.international FAQ (self-link):
3.1.1. The nature of international politics

International politics is primarily about power.

International politics differs from domestic politics because it's anarchic. Within a country, the state has a monopoly on the use of force; the state defines the laws, and imprisons or kills anyone who breaks them. But there's no such monopoly on violence at the international level. Disputes which cannot be resolved through negotiation are often resolved through force, i.e. war. If the world is a global village, it's like a village with no governing authority, great disparities in wealth and power, and individuals who are heavily armed and willing to use violence.

Historically, states have been able to maintain their independence under these conditions through the balance of power. Each state attempts to protect itself against a perceived threat by allying itself with other states which face the same threat; if one state becomes powerful enough to threaten everyone, it will face a formidable alliance of opposing states.
That said:
Power does not mean military power alone. The exercise of power is primarily psychological, rather than physical: it refers to the ability to impose one's will on someone else, to convince someone to change their mind, whether this is through threats, promises, or authority.
That is, legitimacy and consent do matter; it's not possible to rule through force and fear alone.
posted by russilwvong at 2:13 PM on February 28, 2006


Nobody should have nuclear weapons.

There's that word again. It's like that other word.
"Would."

Both irrelevant in the shadow of "is" and "do."

Nukes DO exist. Proliferation was a foregone conclusion after July 16, 1945.

The US invading and occupying Iraq has made developing the ultimate stand-off weapon more than simply and attractive negotiating point for Iran. It has made it a matter of survival.

Thanks to that nifty little invasion right now, and for the near future, there is simply no real reason why Iran "shouldn't" develop nukes. At least from their perspective. They have every motive, will, and resource to do so. There is nothing the international community can offer them short of all out war. So they likely will acquire nukes.

Not that we should abandon attempts at encouraging them not to develop weapons by any and every means we can short of war. However futile we have inadvertently rendered those efforts.

But we should be preparing ourselves for the likely scenario that that they will have them and learn to live with it from there.
posted by tkchrist at 2:34 PM on February 28, 2006


There's that word again.

Under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, all existing nuclear powers (including the United States) committed themselves to the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons. The UK has already made a major step in this direction, for example, by reducing its nuclear arsenal to a minimal submarine deterrent. If the United States abandons this commitment, expect the brakes to really come off nuclear proliferation.

--we should be preparing ourselves for the likely scenario that that they will have them and learn to live with it from there.

Agreed. I might not be so sanguine if I were living in Tel Aviv, though.

The US invading and occupying Iraq has made developing the ultimate stand-off weapon more than simply an attractive negotiating point for Iran. It has made it a matter of survival.

Not really. The Iraq quagmire has made it obvious that the US can't invade Iran. Iran's a lot bigger than Iraq. I imagine that Iran would have been a lot more cautious about moving ahead with its nuclear program before the invasion of Iraq.
posted by russilwvong at 2:50 PM on February 28, 2006


russelwvong:

The 3.1.1 section of that FAQ seems a somewhat inaccurate generalisation to me, and also seems to mischaracterize the state as a monolithic entity that keeps the populace under it's thumb. It seems to be begging the question as regards the place and use of force, and kind of beside the point, since the existance of realpolitik is well established, I was talking about it not being the only game being played, just the most obvious. But I agree with the rest.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:03 PM on February 28, 2006


It seems to be begging the question as regards the place and use of force--

It's intended to be descriptive (i.e. describing what does happen in international politics), not prescriptive (what should happen).

--seems to mischaracterize the state as a monolithic entity that keeps the populace under its thumb.

That wasn't my intent. Of course in a modern democracy, popular opinion has considerable power over the state. I just wanted to indicate that the state has an effective monopoly on the use of force: within domestic society, no one individual can use force to challenge the status quo, whereas this happens frequently in international politics.

In what other ways does it seem inaccurate to you?
posted by russilwvong at 3:30 PM on February 28, 2006


The Iraq quagmire has made it obvious that the US can't invade Iran.

Invasion? Oh. Sure.

But. We won't invade. Mostly because we have nothing to invade with with now.

Invasion is not what Iran's ruling Junta would care about anyway.

I believe the US invasion of Iraq has proven that we can - at will, even when our stated aim is NOT to, obliterate a state with purely convential foces at almost no real short-term cost.

What Iraq HAS proven is that we are totally incompetent at occupation and the installation of stooge regimes in a hostile area.

But we are perfectly expert at blowing the fuck out of an entire nation and them not be able to a goddamned thing about it.

And THAT my friend is ALL a ruling class - used to being in power and having all the nice stuff power gets you - of any state cares about. And why they want nukes when it becomes obvious they are under uncontestable conventional threat.
posted by tkchrist at 4:25 PM on February 28, 2006


The distinction between anarchy within the state and outside of it seems overbroad, painting in black and white what is shades of grey - situations exist where the terms could even be swapped and the statement still applied. I wouldn't consider this to be an innacuracy, but for this particular context. Ie, it is useful and necessary to explain succinctly if the purpose of the FAQ is to explain the difference to someone, but here, where all parties already see that particular difference, it ends up glossing over the similarities, which limits the usefulness in this context, since the similarities are important. (That's what I meant by beside the point - the 3.1.1 paragraph is useful for the purpose for which it was written, but not so much to that particular point). My point is not "should" vs "does", or why the removal of anarchy progresses from the ground up. I wasn't arguing that states should act in the greater interest, I'm saying that some do (and have solid reasons for doing so that can be boiled down to self interest if one is clinically cynical :)). When I talk about the way politics is destined, I'm not spouting some ideology of "should", I'm making a prediction of what I think will happen, based on behavour that does happen in the world today (and similar things that have happened in the world of yesterday, and in hindsight, were utterly inevitable).
posted by -harlequin- at 4:40 PM on February 28, 2006


We won't invade. Mostly because we have nothing to invade with with now.

Invasion is not what Iran's ruling Junta would care about anyway.


tkchrist (and others), you may have missed this post: Annexing Khuzestan. However, this article is more interesting than the posted link. In particular:
In Basra on September 19, British troops clashed with Iraqi police and Shi'ite militia, who had ironically welcomed the toppling of Saddam two years ago. The police had arrested two British undercover commandos who possessed suspicious bomb-making materials. British troops launched an armored raid on the jail to free their agents, fighting the same Iraqi police they had earlier trained. Iraqis had thought it strange that British agents would be caught with the types of bombs associated with insurgents attacking "Coalition" troops, and some assumed that the agents were trying to pit Iraqi religious groups against each other.

Yet at the same time, bombs were going off across the border in Khuzestan. In June, a series of car bombings in Ahvaz (75 miles from Basra) killed 6 people. In August, Iran arrested a group of Arab separatist rebels, and accused them of links to British intelligence in Basra. In September, explosions hit Khuzestani cities, halting crude oil transfers from onshore wells. On October 15, two major bomb explosions in an Ahvaz market killed 4 and injured 95. A November 3 analysis in Asia Times blames Iraqi Sunni insurgents for the bombings.

Iranian officials accused Britain of backing the attacks, and tied the rebel bombs to the British commando incident in Basra. The Daily Star of Beirut reported on October 17 that Iranian officials "point to Western collusion in the sudden spike this year in ethnic unrest in the strategic, oil-producing province of Khuzestan and describe it as proof of a shadowy war that is receiving far less coverage in the international press than events in Iraq. Since the beginning of 2005, riots and a bombing campaign timed to coincide with the June presidential elections rocked Khuzestan's major cities."

Tony Blair and his Foreign Secretary Jack Straw denied the charges, and in turn accused Tehran of sending agents to stir up trouble in Basra and other Iraqi cities, by supporting Iraqi Shi'ite militias. A London-based Arab exile group claims that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are establishing an exclusive military-industrial zone along the Iraqi border to support infiltration into Basra, is carrying out "ethnic cleansing" of Arab farmers for this Free Zone project, and has conducted large exercises to practice quelling Arab unrest in Khuzestan.
I'm not convinced it will happen, but it doesn't sound nearly as far fetched as I thought.
posted by Chuckles at 5:14 PM on February 28, 2006


I'm not convinced it will happen, but it doesn't sound nearly as far fetched as I thought.

Like Russell pointed out - Iran is very big. And the geography is insane. It is conceivable that we could attempt to annex a smaller area - like south west of the Euphrates maybe around Abadan - create some kind of buffer zone. But it would require 150,000 troops we don't have.

Man, I got to be honest here, as strategically incompetent as Bush has been I don't see him (nor any of his advisors now that Wolfy is gone) as THAT stupid given how stretched the resources are and how small any pay-off would be.

I mean WHY invade Iran? To access more oil fields that will be near impossible to defend?

We could simply bomb the living shit out of them and let them rot. To invade Bush would need to convince Americans they were a WMD threat. OMFG. Nobody would buy that.

And the only way to be sure they ARE a WMD threat is after they have done a test... and well... it's too late then.
posted by tkchrist at 5:51 PM on February 28, 2006


The distinction between anarchy within the state and outside of it seems overbroad--

Thanks for the clarification. To me the key point is that there's no actor on the international scene with a monopoly on the use of violence. There's no Hobbesian Leviathan, and that limits the similarities between the international scene and the domestic scene. The international scene is like a small, violent society with no government.

When I talk about the way politics is destined, I'm not spouting some ideology of "should", I'm making a prediction of what I think will happen--

I'm not so optimistic. E. H. Carr draws a distinction between those powers which are satisfied with the international status quo (i.e. distribution of power), and those who are opposed to it (called "revisionist" powers, because they're seeking to revise the status quo: e.g. France under Napoleon, Germany under Hitler, the Soviet Union). I doubt we'll ever reach a point where everyone's satisfied with the international distribution of power. Wealth, maybe. Power, no. A world where all nations are wealthy is possible; a world where all nations are powerful is not.

At any rate, I guess this whole discussion is a derail from the situation in Iran. The US is a revisionist power in the Middle East: the Bush administration is trying to make the Middle East into a US sphere of influence, like Latin America, by overthrowing the existing autocratic governments and establishing friendly democracies. (This is a dangerous fantasy, IMHO.) Since Iran is a major regional power, this is bringing the US into conflict with Iran. (Although the ineptitude of the Bush administration has had considerable benefits from Iran's point of view, by overthrowing a hostile government in Iraq and establishing a friendly one. Iran was not a friend of the Taliban, either.)

tkchrist: I believe the US invasion of Iraq has proven that we can - at will, even when our stated aim is NOT to, obliterate a state with purely convential forces at almost no real short-term cost.

But the US and its allies didn't overthrow the Iraqi government with air power alone. NATO bombed Serbia for a long time with no results. To overthrow the Iranian government, the US would need to invade. With its army tied down in Iraq, it's not going to be able to do that. (To quote wsam, a Canadian blogger: "You can blow up all the shit you want but you don't control anything unless you can walk on it.")
posted by russilwvong at 1:31 PM on March 1, 2006


NATO bombed Serbia for a long time with no results.
No results? What? That is simply NOT true. First. The air campaign was very, very, limited. And second. We stopped beause our allies feared they would collapse entirely (and Clinton was getting ready to be Impeached) and we did not want total anarchy.

You are confusing a desire for "regime change" with bringing down a state. One the state stands and changes ownership. The other the state collapses. And in Clintons' case his desire for "regime change" in Serbia was lackluster and ill-defined.

Now. We KNOW. We can collapse any state we want. Iran knows this. They know that antiquated US and Soviet sixties era hardware are no match for modern weaponry. Even those fancy new Russian and Chinese missiles billed as Carrier Killers they have are old radar guided technology easily dealt with. That is why they want the bomb.

US would need to invade.

Not necessarily. But I will maintain we could still invade with limited infantry after a lengthy air campaign and bring down any given state - including iran - and not occupy the territory long term... I guess that is what I was trying to articulate.

It's in occupation - IE: trying to create a new regime - that the trouble starts. We don't HAVE to that.

Two to three months of incessant unchecked shock and awe and the modern state of Iran ceases to exist.
posted by tkchrist at 5:12 PM on March 3, 2006


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