What to do about Iran?

A military strike could speed an Iranian decision to build a nuclear weapon

Share/Save/Bookmark

What to do about Iran?
by Pickering, Zinni & Walsh
16-Oct-2012
 

By Thomas Pickering, Anthony Zinni and Jim Walsh

Adlai Stevenson once advised that "to act coolly, intelligently and prudently in perilous circumstances is the true test of a man — and also of a nation." In the face of Iran's potential for becoming a nuclear weapons state and a threat to Israel, U.S. leaders would be smart to follow Stevenson's advice and act prudently and intelligently.

There is little doubt that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose dangerous challenges to U.S. interests and security, as well as to the security of Israel. There is no question of the seriousness of the problems presented by Iran's nuclear program or the need to consider the use of military force as a last resort.

An attack on Iran could set back Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon but not stop the program permanently. Barring a decision to deploy large numbers of troops on the ground, we doubt that U.S. military attacks from the air — plus other means, such as drones, covert operations and cyberattacks — could eliminate Iran's capability to build a nuclear weapon, bring about regime change or force Iran to capitulate to U.S. demands.

U.S. and Israeli intelligence communities agree that Iran's leaders have not yet made a decision to build a nuclear bomb. The official U.S. government position is that if Iran were to produce weapons-grade enriched uranium and build a weapon, the military option must be considered. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. would have "a little more than a year to take the necessary action" should Iran decide to move quickly toward having a nuclear weapon.

An American decision to attack Iran could demonstrate its credibility as an ally of other nations in the region and would derail Iran's nuclear ambitions for several years. An attack would also underscore America's full commitment to nonproliferation as other nations contemplate moves in that direction.

There are also costs that are more difficult to estimate because of the uncertainties about the scale and character of Iran's reaction and the impact an attack would have elsewhere in the region. Iran would probably retaliate directly while pursuing an asymmetrical response, such as use of terrorism, covert operations or drawing on surrogates such as Hezbollah. We could expect a spike in the price of oil, and the global economy would probably suffer for as long as the hostilities continued.

Military action could also escalate a regional war involving Syria, Hezbollah, the Palestinians as well as other Arab states and terrorist groups. A larger war in the region would obviously do damage to Israel's position and set back U.S. interests and objectives in the Middle East. A military strike could speed an Iranian decision to build a nuclear weapon, destabilize Arab nations already seeking a new footing and create opportunities for extremist groups to attract new recruits.

In view of this profoundly troubling dilemma the U.S. faces in how to respond to Iran's challenges, we joined a group of more than 30 prominent former defense and foreign policy experts in supporting a recently released report, "Weighing the Benefits and Cost of Military Action Against Iran." In a time marred by hyper-partisan rhetoric, we believed the American people deserve a fact-based discussion of the objectives, costs, benefits, timing, capabilities and exit strategy that should govern any decision to use military force.

First published in Chicago Tribune.

AUTHOR
Thomas Pickering was a former undersecretary of state for political affairs from 1997 to 2000 and served as U.S. ambassador to Russia, Israel, Jordan and the United Nations. Gen. Anthony Zinni is a retired four-star Marine general and commander of U.S. Central Command from 1997 to 2000. Jim Walsh, an expert in international security and nuclear weapons, is a research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's security studies program. The authors will appear on a panel on the findings of the report at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Hotel Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs will host the panel. For more information, go to http://www.thechicagocouncil.org/

Share/Save/Bookmark

 
Divest from War pledge campaign

How you can help prevent Iran from becoming Iraq

by Divest from War pledge ca... on

At the risk of repeating myself, I want to remind everyone that the pledge to BOYCOTT ISRAEL IF IT ATTACKS IRAN is still accepting signatures:

 http://www.divestfromwar.org


Shirzadegan

elimocoint's imagination

by Shirzadegan on

"The name of game is:  CONTROL" elimcoint

First it was "oil", now  it was changed to "control"

the first one was U.S financial need, now it is U.S psychological need. So forget about 4000 innocent  people who were killed in sept. 11, 2001 and forget about all Al ghaedeh terrorists activites in Tanzania, Lybia, Somalia and other part of the world, what is important is U.S need of "Control" ...LOL

Some people such as Soosan khanoom may fall for this kind of logic, I don't.

                 LONG LIVE DEMOCRACY, LONG LIVE FREEDOM

 


elmcoint

Afghanistan has another important comodity: Opium

by elmcoint on

The name of game is:  CONTROL. You can control me if you have: The air, The food, The land, and the best of all; my past time. So what Afghanistan has; the largest untouch drug cartels that not even Mexican drug lords can touch it. So who has it now: USA and its allies. Who is on their way: Iranians and its allies. Who are the Iranian allies: ??????


Shirzadegan

Syria,Afghanistan don't have oil, though U.S is present

by Shirzadegan on

"USA will go to war with any country which gives up payment in USD for Oil and Petro products"elmcoit

Syria and Afghanistan don't have oil, though U.S present is well established.

"The US has sought to dismantle Iran's regime ever since the 1979 Iranian Revolution" elmcoit

So U.S didn't like Mullahs since day one when they illegitimately took power in 1979. Yes, that is true. No one likes mullahs in the power. Ask any Iranians they will tell you the same thing. Ruling mullahs have to go back to Mosques and cemetaries to read koran for dead people. That is what they were trained for. They were not trained to get involve in politic. 

 But the above statement is contradicting with this statement.

"Iran is now seeking to disengage itself from the petrodollar dynamic."elmocoit

So you're saying the "hostility" by U.S just started when Mullahs decided to diesengage themselves from the Petrodollar. Previously you said the "hostility" started since 1979.

Here is brief of what happened.

1. 1979, hostage taken in Tehran. Americans were detained in captivity by mullahs about 2 years.

2. 1983, Mullahs blown up U.S embassy in Lebanan leading to the dead of 256 American services men.

3. 1983, mullahs estabilished Hezbollah organization in Southern Lebanon to assist shia muslims to attack Israel.

4. 1987, Mullahs were putting mines in straight of Hormoz leaded to blowing up U.S ship in one occasion. Mullahs blown up U.S ship in port of Kuwait in the same year. That attack made Gaspur Weinburger to resign from his job. Most likely he was fired as a result of that attack.

5. 1988, death decree for assasination of Salman Rhoshdie for publishing the book "satanic versus".  

6. 1994, Mullahs blown up Jewish cultural center in Argentine leaded to assasination of 84 jews people. Falaheyan, the head of the mullah's ministry of information, went on the black list to get arrested whenever he leaves Iran.

7. sponsoring terrorism through Palestinians, hezbollahs and Hamas in southern Lebanon. Financing most of the terrorist attacks in the world against U.S and Israeli interests. Mullahs spent a lots of Persian Gulf oil money to aid terrorist organizations in Syrian, Lebanon, and some African countries such as Sudan, nigeria

http://af.reuters.com/article/nigeriaNews/idAFLDE71N1NP20110224 

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/184748/us-maintains-cuba-iran-sudan.html 

8. Burning American flags. Calling America "Great Satan". Calling for destruction state of Israel.   

The above was international activities of these monsters. For internal activities such as raping virgin girls the night before their executions or sending murderers to assasinate mullahs' dissents in abroad or massacre of political prisoners inside Iran,  please contact Soosan Khanoom or any other knowlegble Iranians, they will inform you about it.

Best,

Siavash


Soosan Khanoom

Exactly , elmcoint.. Well said.

by Soosan Khanoom on

:)


elmcoint

NOTHING,It's not the Nuclear issue, it's PETRODOLLAR issue....

by elmcoint on

WRONG OR RIGHT- FOR YOU TO JUDGE!!! USA will go to war with any country which gives up payment in USD for Oil and Petro products Subject: Once upon a time, history was stranger than fiction. US hostilities toward Iran have nothing to do with nuclear weapons development. If that were the case, then North Korea and Pakistan would be facing similar sanctions and threats, but they aren't. The difference of course is in what lies beneath the ground - oil. Iran has it and the other guys don't.
At the heart of the issue is not Iran's dubious attempt to build nuclear weapons, or even oil, but how that oil is paid for.
In 1973, Richard Nixon promised King Faisal of Saudi Arabia that the US would protect Saudi Arabian oilfields from any and all interested parties seeking to forcefully wrest them from the House of Saud. It's important to remember that in 1973, Saudi Arabia didn't have a fraction of the military and ground forces it possesses today (almost exclusively US manufactured weapons) and the USSR was very much a threat.

In return Saudi Arabia, and by extension OPEC, agreed to sell their oil in US dollars only. As if that weren't sweet enough, as part of the deal, they were required to invest their profits in US treasuries, bonds and bills. The real zinger is that all countries purchasing oil from OPEC had to do so in US dollars, or 'petrodollars'. This strengthened the US dollar, resulting in a steady US economic growth cycle throughout the 80's and 90's. Countries purchasing OPEC oil started buying US treasury bills, bonds and securities to ensure they could continue purchasing OPEC oil. This worked fine for the US until 2001.

No plan, however well formulated, functions smoothly indefinitely. 2001, enter Saddam Hussein. He floated a plan to sell oil for European currencies in lieu of petrodollars. Shortly after Iraq was 'suddenly' found to be seeking and stockpiling weapons of mass destruction - allegations spearheaded by the US. The world knows what happened, suffice it to say that Saddam is dead and Iraq is 'back on track', selling its oil for petrodollars once again.

Muammar Gaddafi harbored the Lockerbie Bombers and allowed various terrorist organizations establish training camps in Libya. He tried to buy a nuke from China in 1972. In 1977, he approached Pakistan, then India. He sought nerve gas from Thailand. In spite of well over fifty failed assassination attempts on Gaddafi by Israel, the US and the UK, Libya was left to its own devices for the most part. Seeking nukes and harboring terrorists is one thing, but threatening the petrodollar is quite another.

Gaddafi made a fatal error when he decided to move away from the petrodollar in favor of other currencies. This simply was not tolerated by the US. Having already played the WMD card in Iraq, something new was pulled from the US 'regime change' grab bag. Within a year, 'internal' elements rose up in rebellion against Gaddafi and now he is dead. Long live the petrodollar.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), suggested last year that theEuro would be a more suitable oil reserve currency than the US Dollar. Within three months of that statement,allegations of rape ruined his career, derailing his bid for the French Presidency in the process. Soon thereafter, all charges were dropped, but of course, le dommage était fait - the damage was done.
Christine Lagarde, DSK's replacement as head of the IMF sees no reason to change the current arrangement, naturellement.

The Iran situation is a little trickier.

The US has sought to dismantle Iran's regime ever since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, so this round of hostilities, while not new, reflects a new level of intensity. Why, after thirty years of hostility, has the US ratcheted up its rhetoric? As Obama stated in his recent State of the Union address, when it comes to Iran and the insistence they dismantle their nuclear program, "no options are off the table". By stating 'no options' this would include nuclear deployment as a deterrent. The answer of course is that Iran is now seeking to disengage itself from the petrodollar dynamic. In 2005, Iran sought to create an Iranian Oil Exchange, thus by passing the US controlled petrodollar. Fear that western powers would freeze accounts in European and London banks put an end to that plan.

But that was not the end of their attempts, and Iran sought other ways to get around the petrodollar noose. There are rumors that India, which imports 12% of their oil from Iran, has agreed to purchase oil for gold. Energy trade with China, importing 15% of its oil and natural gas from Iran may be settled in gold, yuan, and rial. South Korea plans to buy 10% of their oil from Iran in 2012, and unless Seoul sides with American and European sanctions, it is likely to use gold or their sovereign currency to pay for it. Also, Iran is already dumping the dollar in its trade with Russia in favor of rials and rubles. Iran is breaking the back of the petrodollar. Others have tried, but Iran is succeeding. To understand how disastrous this is for the US, one must have a basic understanding of how critical a role the petrodollar plays in the economic health of the US.


Through King Faisal, Nixon elevated the US to supreme economic ascendancy, not unlike Damocles in his desire to rule. Sitting on the (economic) throne of the world is great, but Nixon was either unaware of the sword dangling over the US economic system, or chose to ignore it in favor of reaping the rewards of the moment.


By creating the petrodollar paradigm, the US economy soared, as all countries of the world were required to amass US currency to purchase oil from OPEC nations. Sales of T-bills, securities and US bonds soared. US coffers fattened. With the US dollar as the world's oil currency reserve, economic fortune favored the US.

But with great reward comes great risk. While other countries exchanged their currency for the dollar (forfeiting value in the process), the US simply printed more money to match their needs and purchase their oil - essentially for free. The best example is that while gasoline in the US cost $3.00 per gallon, in Europe that same gallon costs $6.00 or more.
Herein lies the danger. If Iran is successful in its bid to set up their own bourse, or oil exchange, then what need does the world have for all those US dollars? The answer is, none at all. As Iran creating gold and sovereign currency partnerships with India, China, South Korea and Russia, the hegemony of the petrodollar will be destroyed. The resulting sell-off of US dollars, T-bills, securities, bonds and assets will flood the already swollen world economy with even more useless dollars, ultimately devaluing it into a position where hyper-inflation becomes a risk.

So, while the US government sabre-rattles and prattles on and on about nuclear weapons and the threat Iran poses to the Middle East, the thin veneer of lies spouted by the elite controlled media is being stripped away, revealing the truth of their warmongering rhetoric. The US, by their foolish insistence on enforcing embargoes and sanctions against Iran, is hastening the end of the petrodollar and ushering in the age of US dollar hyper-inflation.

A practical example:
One loaf of bread in a healthy economy is $1.00. In an inflationary economy it's $1.75. In a hyper-inflationary economy, $500.00.

Bullies may be large and dangerous, but rarely they are intelligent.

__._,_.___


FACEBOOK