« The Black Swan | Main | Calderon turns up the heat »

January 07, 2007

Comments

Yudel

Has there been any reports of Israeli nuclear bunker-busters before?

Are the leaks of Israeli nuclear capability to prepare the ground for a real attack.... or to make it appear that Israel has home grown bunker busters, when it uses American nukes for an American-approved attack?

John Robb

Meanwhile -- the problem is that you aren't considering the psychology of this. It doesn't matter what you think, it is what Israel thinks.

Yudel, not that I have heard of. We rushed bunker busters to them in the last war in Lebanon. I suspect what they mean is that multiple bunker busters will be used to blow/weaken a shaft and a follow on nuke in a beefed up casing will penetrate deep to finish the job. This will be American approved if it flies.

meanwhile

No, John: I don't think you quite understand me. What I'm saying is that "Iran has made a Saddam level miscalculation: they are putting existential pressure on nuclear power without nukes of their own" is wrong not because of the Iranians have a better grasp of the Israeli's psychology than you do, *but because they appreciate that if the Israeli's bomb then the current regime wins a victory*.

Why? Because the greatest threat to the regime - the maintenance of which is a holy duty - is from internal dissent. And nothing legitimises a regime - and repressive measures on dissidents - more than an unpopular external enemy. Trading off a few years development time on their nuclear program to achieve this is hardly unpalatable.

Certainly this factor won't stop the Israelis from bombing - they're past that point of strategic imagination and competence - it is instead a dismissal of the idea that this a mis-calculation on the Iranian's part. It isn't, because they clearly benefit.

meanwhile

No, John: I don't think you quite understand me. What I'm saying is that "Iran has made a Saddam level miscalculation: they are putting existential pressure on nuclear power without nukes of their own" is wrong not because of the Iranians have a better grasp of the Israeli's psychology than you do, *but because they appreciate that if the Israeli's bomb then the current regime wins a victory*.

Why? Because the greatest threat to the regime - the maintenance of which is a holy duty - is from internal dissent. And nothing legitimises a regime - and repressive measures on dissidents - more than an unpopular external enemy. Trading off a few years development time on their nuclear program to achieve this is hardly unpalatable.

Certainly this factor won't stop the Israelis from bombing - they're past that point of strategic imagination and competence - it is instead a dismissal of the idea that this a mis-calculation on the Iranian's part. It isn't, because they clearly benefit.

meanwhile

Ok.. According to the Times today (Jan 16 2007) the Iranians have *announced* that they are stepping up their uranium enrichment program. There's no reason why they had to make this public, but it's typical of their behaviour at every stage of this affair. Given that Tehran is anything but stupid diplomatically and strategically, we can only assume that a strong faction in the regime *wants* to increase tension. Remember: the regime is diverse. Bombing won't just increase the effective loyalty of the people, it will also strengthen hardliners against moderates.

Yudel

In the past week, Israel has quasi-officially (1) let it be know that Sharon thought the Iraq invasion was stupid and (2) publicized successful "unofficial" negotiations with the Syrians.

Is this backing off from the Iranian threat? Or Israel recognizing that Bush is a lame duck?

The comments to this entry are closed.