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April 30, 2006

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wonk

Why wouldn't the US want Israel to do the bombing? Unless people really believe all the "hollow out" nonsense will work.

John Robb

Despite the fact that this is rapidly moving beyond any care about political fallout, Israel couldn't pull it off. Further, any bombing campaign that leaves Iran with the knowledge of the process and the intent to undertake it is not going to gain traction. They are going to try to coerce the state into accepting the terms through an EBO (although the real hope will be to hollow it out by opening up the opportunity for ethnic break-aways).

dan

Then again, Mossad was telling the US that Iran had acquired nuclear weapons from the FSU back in the early 1990's in a bid to get a reprise of Desert Storm - so their claims of "secret" enrichments sites and compacted time-lines should be taken with the appropriate mine of salt.

The Israeli strategy is, and always has been, to get the US to take the regime down, as they cannot "resolve" the necessity to mount sustained, rolling operations over an extended period of time and at the extreme edges of their operational limits with the lack of airspace corridors, forward airbases and accurate intelligence.

There's also a potential poison pill - the Israelis would be unable to "scud-hunt", and the Iranians have enough long-range missiles to pose a credible threat to Dimona. I don't know what the odds on success would be, but I doubt the Israelis would be comfortable with even a 5% chance of an Iranian cruise missile ( they supposedly have 12 ) hitting the facility.

This is not a "one-target, one-day" operation - and the Israelis would also face the problem of doing this in broad daylight, simultaneously, at multiple and dispersed locations if they were intent on catching Iran's nuclear talent at the office.

Neither Turkey nor Saudi Arabia will permit the use of their airspace; the potential Iraqi airspace corridor closed in 2003 - under the terms of their UN mandate the USAF would be obliged to shoot Israeli planes down if they breached the space, and failure to do so would entail political, military and diplomatic consequences that, de minimis, result in much of the Middle East going completely carrot-top.

Ken Hagler

I had a thought on the timing of this earlier while I was on the bus.

Pretty much everyone but the Busheviks (who have, shall we say, a bit of a credibility problem on this subject) agrees that Iran is ten years from having a bomb.

I've also read from a number of sources that the Evil Empire is unlikely to seriously harm their efforts in that direction (if there even are any efforts) short of nuclear war, and possibly not even then.

However, it wouldn't be out of character for the Busheviks to blow up some random Persians, having no effect on the nuclear weapons program, and then say when Iran test detonates a bomb in ten years (after they're safely out of office and a Democrat is in), "Look, our efforts delayed them by ten years, but those evil Democrats squandered the opportunity. Vote for us to set things right!"

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