Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Well, This Is Awkward

Israeli F-16 Showing Seven Syrian Aerial Victories and the Bombing of Iraq's Osirik Reactor.  

Iran has warned it may strike pre-emptively in the face of persistent threats of imminent attack by Israeli or the United States' forces.

It sort of sounds like George w. Bush's reasoning when he attacked and temporarily conquered Iraq under the smokescreen of danger of imminent attack from Iraqi WMDs that, of course, were non-existent. 

The big difference here is that those menacing Tehran do have plenty of WMDs, both of them, and there's even been talk of using such weapons to take out Iranian nuclear facilities deep underground.   There's also the possibility that destruction of Iran's nuclear installations could itself release nuclear contamination upon Iranian cities.
Israeli Air Force Symbol for Strike on Nuclear Facility

Have Israel and the U.S. given Iran the sort of provocation that could justify an Iranian pre-emptive attack?   Both have a history of attacking other states, often by surprise or unannounced attack.  Israel has twice taken out nuclear facilities in Arab states.  Both have WMDs.  Both have repeatedly stated they're contemplating the bombing of Iranian facilities.   That sure sounds like plenty of provocation, but...

What is there that Iran could attack that would improve its position?  It's hard to imagine Iran being able to knock out the Israeli air force and harder still to see how Iran could do much to cripple the United States.  Then again...

If you have concluded that there's a very real probability you will be attacked, you have to weigh the costs of waiting around for it to happen.  Do nothing and you merely surrender the advantage of initiative.   If your aggressors attack first, they may and probably will begin by taking out your defences before they move on to their main target.   They'll do everything they can to take out anything you have that could close off the Gulf or strike Israel.   What it may come down to is that you either have to use that capability yourself pre-emptively or lose it altogether.

The Israelis have already said it could take a hundred or more bombing missions to eliminate Iran's military capacity and take out its nuclear installations.   That's one hell of an air war.

No comments: