Thursday, January 19, 2006

Invading Iran...

that is the question.

Iran's president is getting bolder by the day. He unabashedly hates the West and all we represent. He denies the Holocaust, calling it a fabrication of the West. He wants to wipe Israel off the map, claiming the nation has no right to exist. He defies the United Nations, breaking the U.N.'s freeze on Iran's nuclear development. He harbors terrorists, allowing al-Qaeda refuge in his country. Now he's having meetings with Syria about becoming allies.

But worst of all, he's unstable. And when you put all of these facts together, you come to realize just how threatening Iran can possibly be to the United States. Once you reach this point, you are faced with a decision: Invade Iran --much in the same way we did in Iraq, with targeted air strikes and soldies on the ground-- with the intent of regime change, or wait for the UNSC to take action against the country, which either won't happen or won't stop Iran from developing nukes.

It's a very challenging decision, yet also a very important one: What should we do about Iran?

Rick Moran isn't convinced that immediate military action is the answer. From his piece on the serious risks in attacking Iran to stop its nuclear program:

I still think military action against the Iranians may be necessary – but only if we get a clearer picture of the consequences of such actions. How much support would we have from the world? From other oil producing states? From our allies? What would Russia and China do? Would Arab governments support us?

All of these questions can only be answered and work in our favor only through careful and patient diplomacy. From my point of view, military action wouldn’t make sense unless it improved the situation. If it can’t do that, then it would only highlight our impotence when Iran eventually got the bomb. And that could be just as dangerous as anything we can imagine the mad mullahs doing to us.

Moran's urge for caution in our actions is well noted. But the picture changes if it becomes clear that Iran is willing to use its nukes against Israel, or if it is evident that Iran will have developed nuclear capabilities inside a few years --even if speculation is true that the unpopular regime will be ousted from power by then.

I believe that both of these possibilities are much more probable than we'd like to think. Thus it appears as though military action against Iran is inevitable. And though it may not be a prudent course of action at this particular moment, the time will be upon us soon.

Thomas Holsinger of Winds of Change makes a very strong case for a U.S.-led invasion of Iran. From the introductory section:

All the reasons for invading Iraq apply doubly to Iran, and with far greater urgency. Iran right now poses the imminent threat to America which Iraq did not in 2003. Iran may already have some nuclear weapons, purchased from North Korea or made with materials acquired from North Korea, which would increase its threat to us from imminent to direct and immediate.

Iran’s mullahs are about to produce their first home-built nuclear weapons this year. If we permit that, many other countries, some of whose governments are dangerously unstable, will build their own nuclear weapons to deter Iran and each other from nuclear attack as our inaction will have demonstrated our unwillingness to keep the peace. This rapid and widespread proliferation will inevitably lead to use of nuclear weapons in anger, both by terrorists and by fearful and unstable third world regimes, at which point the existing world order will break down and we will suffer every Hobbesian nightmare of nuclear proliferation.

Valid points to be sure, but he has much, much more to offer throughout the full scope of his article.

The Belmont Club seems to agree with Holsinger's assessment. They point to this article from the U.S. Army War College titled, "Getting Ready For A Nuclear-Ready Iran", which essentially finds that it is probably impossible for the US to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, short of a full-scale invasion.

Austin Bay has had similar thoughts. And I have as well.

Whatever our immediate course of action, it is imperative that we begin seriously considering a possible invasion of Iran, and researching what that could look like. We must also do all we can to spur the UNSC into action in the meantime, probably in the form of sanctions. But we must not, under any circumstances, sit idly by while Iran develops a nuclear arsenal. They are far too likely to share their weapons with other Islamic nations, or radical Islamist terror groups who will not hesitate to use these weapons against the United States.