Friday, January 20, 2012

Council on Foreign Relations Specialist Calls for an Attack on Iran

A CFR fellow wants to surgically attack Iran and then batten down the hatches and await reprisal.

A CFR email briefing starts off this way:
The military option is a bad one, yet compared to the dangerous option of a nuclear-armed Iran, it's less bad, explains Kroenig..

The Kroenig referenced is Matthew H. Kroenig, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations. He also served as an adviser for the Secretary of Defense.

He argues:
I'm afraid the choice we're rapidly confronting is between two far more dangerous options; that is, either allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons or conducting a military strike designed to prevent that from happening.

And, based on my work last year, I came to the conclusion that, given that choice, the United States' best course of action is to conduct a surgical strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, pull back and absorb an inevitable round of Iranian retaliation, and then seek to quickly de-escalate the crisis... there's always the possibility of nuclear war. I don't think Iran would intentionally launch a suicidal nuclear war, but in a crisis between Iran and Israel or Iran and the United States, a kind of Cuban missile crisis-type situation, it's not hard to imagine things spilling out of control and resulting in a nuclear exchange.

So these are serious threats to the United States if Iran acquired nuclear weapons.

...a U.S. strike as opposed to an Israeli strike would significantly set back Iran's nuclear program from, I guess, somewhere from three to 10 years. So that buys a lot of time for further diplomacy..

There would obviously be serious consequences to a strike in terms of Iranian retaliation: increases in oil prices, the possible effects on Iranian domestic politics, the international reaction. But, again, having done the planning, my experience leads me to believe that consequences wouldn't be as grave as may people fear, and that the United States could put in place a strategy to mitigate those consequences...

So, again, I think, if managed well, what we might be able to achieve is destruction of Iran's key nuclear facilities in exchange for kind of a token Iranian retaliation...

So, in sum, I think the options are awful but, if forced to chose, a strike is the least-bad option. And it seems like the administration, at least in their public rhetoric, is coming around to this view. So, just in the past few weeks Gary Samore, Dennis Ross, Leon Panetta -- and although he doesn't speak for the administration, Joe Lieberman -- have all made comments to the effect that the administration assesses that the risks of a strike are less than the risks of a nuclear-armed Iran.
It should be noted that Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, "argues that Iran is open to diplomacy."

But the clear view of all at the CFR is that the U.S. should be meddling in the affairs of the Middle East, based on the absurd hyped-up allegation that the Iranian situation could lead to a "Cuban missile crisis-type situation".

Bottom line: The war drums are beating.


  1. "...a U.S. strike as opposed to an Israeli strike would significantly set back Iran's nuclear program from, I guess, somewhere from three to 10 years. So that buys a lot of time for further diplomacy.."

    What a ludicrous statement. There has been no attempt at a diplomatic solution since the red herring of a nuclear Iran first surfaced, and that is because this has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. Israel wants Southern Lebanon within its control so it can access the Litanni River. Iran supports Hezbolah in Lebanon, so it has to be reduced to rubble - preferably by the Americans.

    Such people as Matthew H. Kroenig are merely mouthpieces for the promulgation of Elitist propaganda and should, as a matter of course, be ridiculed.

    1. Hi Trisha - Can you please provide your source for the statement, "Israel wants Southern Lebanon within its control so it can access the Litanni River."? I completely agree with your comment, but had not heard/read this part before. Thank in advance!

  2. No one has, so far as I know, ever even tried to make any case for why I, as an American citizen living in America, should give a flying f*** whether or not Iran has a nuclear weapon. If I had my druthers, no state psychopaths would have so much as a butter knife let alone a nuke, but am I supposed to believe Iran's state thugs are somehow worse than, I don't know, the only state whose thugs have actually used nukes on civilians?

  3. Ridiculous indeed. Instead of starting at diplomacy - bomb and hope for the best? I can't help but laugh, although in pained anguish, at the mention of American expectation of a "token Iranian retaliation". We'll absorb it then retaliate. This psychos argument seems farcical on its face.
    "Least bad option" may be starting what he admits could lead to a nuclear exchange? How do these psychos garner any respect whatsoever?

  4. Why not attack a country that already has nuclear weapons instead? Why push the diplomacy option back 10 years? I like how his 'calculations' don't involve human life.