This is a little out of the neighborhood, but Ken Silverstein has the first of a three-part series online regarding the possibility of war with Iran. Today
features thoughts from independent analysts.
A. Richard Norton:
Remember that in 1990â€“91 and then again in 2003 the very fact that the United States assembled a formidable array of forces in the Gulf region became an argument for using those forces and launching wars. The United States will soon have two carrier task forces on station, and perhaps a third carrier task force will soon be deployed. It will be difficult for the United States to step down from its combative perch without Iran accepting some fairly significant concessions.
While many leading Iranian officials fully understand the gravity of the situation, it is nonetheless possible to imagine a series of real or contrived clashes that lead, perhaps unintentionally, to a serious aerial and naval campaign against Iran. Orâ€”to put it simplyâ€”to yet another U.S. war of choice.
I am extremely wary of a military campaign against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. If military action is taken against that infrastructure, there would be nothing â€œsurgicalâ€ about the proceedings. The airstrikes associated with contingency planning suggest that such maneuvers, in addition to hitting a number of widely dispersed atomic-development targets, would have to take out much of Iran’s air defenses in order to clear paths to the targets.
As of last year, for the first time, a majority of Iraqi Shiites support armed attacks on U.S.-led forces,Â and if the United States attacks Iran, Iraqi Shiite militias will direct their anger at American soldiers and military personnel. Beyond this, we need to recognize that Iran has a complex political system and a young, critical society.