Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bolton Advocates Israeli Strike on Iran

Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, has an op-ed in today's Washington Post arguing that
those who oppose Iran acquiring nuclear weapons are left in the near term with only the option of targeted military force against its weapons facilities.
Since the Obama administration is committed to the fantasy that negotiations can somehow reverse Iran's nuclear ambitions, that leaves Israel as the only state that can act. According to Bolton,
the uprising in Iran also makes it more likely that an effective public diplomacy campaign could be waged in the country to explain to Iranians that such an attack is directed against the regime, not against the Iranian people...Military action against Iran's nuclear program and the ultimate goal of regime change can be worked together consistently.

While I agree with Bolton about the naivete of the Obama administration toward Iran, Bolton is living in his own fantasy world as the above excerpts indicate. There are multiple problems with his theories. First, most military analysts believe that an Israeli strike could only delay, not destroy Iran's nuclear program. That's a huge point completely missing from Bolton's essay. Second, Bolton completely ignores the many possible repercussions of such a strike including the impact on Iraq, the effect on U.S. operations in the region, the consequences for U.S.-Israeli relations, and of course the response of Iran itself. And does Bolton really believe that an Israeli strike would have the support of the Obama administration? Finally, Bolton's comment about a "public diplomacy campaign" is every bit as naive and clueless as any foreign policy position held by Obama. Are we actually supposed to believe that the Iranian people would be impressed by "regime change" propaganda after an Israeli attack on their country? Such an attack would unify Iranians behind the regime.

Bolton closes by writing,

Otherwise, be prepared for an Iran with nuclear weapons, which some, including Obama advisers, believe could be contained and deterred. That is not a hypothesis we should seek to test in the real world. The cost of error could be fatal.
Anyone looking at things realistically should be prepared for an Iran with nuclear weapons. Iran can be contained and deterred by the U.S. It is true that Iranian nuclear weapons would be a lethal threat to Israel, but U.S. policy has to put U.S. interests above the interests of even a close ally. And an Israeli attack on Iran is currently not in the U.S. interest.

No comments:

Post a Comment