The conventional wisdom from most of the GOP presidential candidates is that under no circumstances should Iran be able to develop a nuclear weapon. So, should we expect if one of them defeats Obama, that in the first 100 days of their administration they will perform a tactical strike on Iran? Let’s assume for a minute that a tactical strike is successful in disabling Iran’s nuclear capability. What do we expect will happen next?
A) Iran will go into submission and maybe an Arab Spring-like uprising will topple the Ayatollahs.
B) Iran will start proxy wars quietly assisted by opportunistic countries (i.e. Russia, China, Venezuela) all over the world to bleed America and Israel.
C) Iran will attempt to close the Straits of Hormuz causing more direct US military involvement.
D) Iran will purchase nuclear weapons directly from North Korea or Pakistan.
E) Iran will purchase nuclear weapons directly from China or Russia.
The excuse given to stop Iran’s nuclear program “at any cost” is typically the notion that as soon as Iran has a weapon they will “wipe Israel off the map”. But interestingly Mossad does not seem as worried as we are. Is it plausible that our GOP presidential candidates know more about Israel’s security situation than Israel’s top intelligence officer? Perhaps the Mossad knows that Israel cannot be blown off the map with a few nuclear weapons and that the 100% chance of nuclear retaliation that would make Shock and Awe look like a video game, is a deterrent even for the Ayatollahs and their problem child, Ahmadinejad, who had to be bitchslapped for suggesting the Iranian people should have more freedoms.
To be clear, the debate is not whether we should want or not want Iran to have nuclear weapons but rather to what extent should the US go to prevent Iran from developing one. Will the American foreign policy of pre-emptive strikes prevail or can the most powerful nation on the planet find an economic and diplomatic solution?