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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 1/2/2007 6:46:17 PM EST

Geopolitical Diary: Israel's Options Against Iran
January 03, 2007 02 46 GMT

www.stratfor.com/products/premium/read_article.php?id=282465

The Institute for National Strategic Studies, a Tel Aviv-based think tank with strong ties to the pro-Israeli Washington Institute for Near East Policy, released its annual report on Tuesday, saying Israel is technically capable of independently carrying out military strikes against Iranian nuclear sites.

Israel undoubtedly has been displeased by the manner in which Washington has mishandled Iraq, while Iran has used the situation to reinforce the perception of U.S. weakness and advance its agenda of becoming a nuclear powerhouse in the region, placing it in competition with Israel. With the United States currently lacking any solid options to contain Iran via a political resolution in Iraq, there has been intense speculation over the possibility that Israel might have to get its hands dirty and take military action against Iran -- with or without U.S. cooperation.

Israel's patience might be wearing thin, but an Israeli strike against Iran in the coming year is still unlikely. The Iranians have learned well from the pre-emptive Israeli airstrikes against Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in June 1981 that effectively squashed former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's development of the country's nuclear weapons. Whereas Iraq concentrated its facilities at Osirak, the Iranians have strategically spread out their nuclear sites, several of which can only be penetrated using tactical nuclear bunker buster bombs. Even using these weapons in a sustained air campaign, the Israelis' ability to wipe out Iran's widely dispersed nuclear capability in a first-strike offensive is questionable.

Nonetheless, the Israelis do have an interest in halting Iran's expansion of power and setting back the Iranian nuclear program. This idea would be privately welcomed in much of the Arab world, particularly in Saudi Arabia, which would gladly let the Israelis take the heat for containing Iran's nuclear ambitions and putting a lid on the expanding Shiite power in the region. If anything can get the Saudis and the Israelis to sit down together and talk, it's Iran.

But in Israel's current state of military and political paralysis -- a result of the 2006 summer conflict with Hezbollah -- military action against Iran is not at the top of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's to-do list. Israel recognizes the downside to launching a unilateral attack against Iran. If the military option is to be used, Israel sees the value in having U.S. forces that are well-positioned in Iraq to help carry out the attacks. The problem is that the United States simply cannot risk engaging Iran militarily while Iraq is hanging by a thread. And a unilateral Israeli strike against Iran at a time when the United States is in a severely weakened position in Iraq would further undermine U.S. capability in the region, and place Israel in a more vulnerable position vis-a-vis Iran and its proxies there. The political arrangements Washington has painstakingly attempted in Baghdad would unravel if Iran were to hold the United States complicit in Israel's actions, and Tehran would not hesitate to up its militant assets in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories in order to strike at Israeli and U.S. targets.

The Israelis have a small window of four to five years before Iran develops a weaponized nuclear program. With these considerations in mind, Israel must prioritize the various threats against its national security. For Israel to seriously consider a military option against Iran down the road, it will have to first deal with the pending issue of neutralizing Iran's main proxy on Israel's northern border: Hezbollah. Part of the Israeli decision to engage Hezbollah in a full-scale conflict in 2006 likely involved the need to degrade the group's military capabilities and deprive Iran of one of its key assets in the region. Though that plan did not pan out, Israel is bound to revisit the issue in the coming year.
Link Posted: 1/2/2007 6:49:41 PM EST
After the Hez debacle, I think it's pretty obvious that their only option is nuclear. I don't think they'll go there before it's too late.
Link Posted: 1/2/2007 8:48:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/2/2007 8:49:16 PM EST by Klee]
I'm REALLY hoping the Iranians have a little "accident" with one of their nukes they aren't supposed to have yet.


As Abu from the simpsons would say " Silly muslums ........always blowing themselves up for one reason or another "
Link Posted: 1/2/2007 8:53:38 PM EST
I believe Israel's options are...

1) A pre-emptive nuclear strike.
or
2) A retalitory nuclear strike.
Link Posted: 1/2/2007 9:07:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By sum-rifle:
I believe Israel's options are...

1) A pre-emptive nuclear strike.
or
2) A retalitory nuclear strike.


I hope they take option No. 1 before it becomes Option No. 2 by force.

Iran's asking for it.
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 5:50:29 AM EST
bump
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 5:51:18 AM EST
I sure hope no one gets hurt.
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 5:55:51 AM EST

Originally Posted By sum-rifle:
I believe Israel's options are...

1) A pre-emptive nuclear strike.
or
2) A retalitory nuclear strike.


A reataliatory nuclear strike is in theory possible. But due to the SMALL size of Israel, if somebody succeed to send a nuke to Tel Aviv, for example, there will be very few of the productive Israel left.

I think the option 1 is the only left, unfortunately.
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 5:57:00 AM EST
I'm not sure that Israel re-engaging Hezzie unless FORCED TO is a good idea. Iran is the problem here, and you have to cut off the head for the body to die. If Iran were somehow decimated, then Syria and Lebanon are a headless, open target. To simply go after Hezzie now is tantamount to going after the leg of the beast instead of his head.

HH
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 6:05:43 AM EST
Terms And Conditions For Individual Subscriptions to Stratfor ("The Service")

1.4 Subscribers may not post any intelligence from the Service to newsgroups, mail lists, or electronic bulletin boards, without the prior written consent of Stratfor.

Link Posted: 1/3/2007 6:08:06 AM EST
Something we need to keep in mind about these "hardened facilities". We don't need to destroy them if we destroy their infrastructure (power lines, water pipes, etc.) and any vehicles trying to enter or leave. An enrichment plant needs something to enrich. And the fact that they have spread out their facilities makes them vulnerable to interdiction of transportation between them.

All that aside, what better use is there for nukes than using them to prevent the "wrong" people from making more?
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 6:08:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/3/2007 6:19:07 AM EST by Dave_A]
The only viable option is sabotage....

Of the old-fashioned, delivered-by-shoe-leather kind...

In movie terms, this is a job for James Bond, not Maverick & Goose....

A PRE-EMPTIVE NUKE STRIKE IS NOT AN OPTION - it simply won't destroy the facilities in question, and will only piss off Iran even more. Since Israel does not have the ground/naval capabilities to actually invade Iran (it's call the Israeli DEFENSE force for a reason - they don't have the capability to operate a ground campaign outside their immediate region), the only other pre-emptive nuke scenario (as 'preparation' for a land attack) is out the window...

Remember: NUKES ARE POLITICAL BARGAINING CHIPS - once the shooting starts, we're back to conventional bombs & bullets - just like the Cold War....

Further, the IAF doesn't have the ability to destroy the program completely from the air... For that matter, the USAF may not be able to completely destroy it from the air...

The best option is for someone to "arrange" for the Iranians to have an "Accident" involving nuclear material, and maybe a Russian-made reactor or two (you never know with that shit, it's got a worse record than Glock...)...

Such an "Accident" would make it much more difficult for their nuclear program to be tolerated, especially if the fallout were to be distributed over the 'right' nations...

Like I said - cloak & dagger, not 'weapons free, fire at will'....


Link Posted: 1/3/2007 6:11:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By webtaz99:
Something we need to keep in mind about these "hardened facilities". We don't need to destroy them if we destroy their infrastructure (power lines, water pipes, etc.) and any vehicles trying to enter or leave. An enrichment plant needs something to enrich. And the fact that they have spread out their facilities makes them vulnerable to interdiction of transportation between them.

All that aside, what better use is there for nukes than using them to prevent the "wrong" people from making more?


Hardened facilities will have self-contained infrastructure, or it will be 'hardened' and buried as well - this ain't a video game...
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 6:13:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By webtaz99:
Something we need to keep in mind about these "hardened facilities". We don't need to destroy them if we destroy their infrastructure (power lines, water pipes, etc.) and any vehicles trying to enter or leave. An enrichment plant needs something to enrich. And the fact that they have spread out their facilities makes them vulnerable to interdiction of transportation between them.

All that aside, what better use is there for nukes than using them to prevent the "wrong" people from making more?


Hardened facilities will have self-contained infrastructure, or it will be 'hardened' and buried as well - this ain't a video game...


Lies! If it can be done in CounterStrike then surely it can be done for real!
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 6:17:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By webtaz99:
Something we need to keep in mind about these "hardened facilities". We don't need to destroy them if we destroy their infrastructure (power lines, water pipes, etc.) and any vehicles trying to enter or leave. An enrichment plant needs something to enrich. And the fact that they have spread out their facilities makes them vulnerable to interdiction of transportation between them.

All that aside, what better use is there for nukes than using them to prevent the "wrong" people from making more?


Hardened facilities will have self-contained infrastructure, or it will be 'hardened' and buried as well - this ain't a video game...


Any given facility may or may not. That's why I mentioned the vehicles. Or does Iran have a top-secret nuke-hardened underground rail system spider-webbing the desert?
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 6:23:21 AM EST
A viable option, overthrow the Iranian gov from within.
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 6:24:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/3/2007 6:27:38 AM EST by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By webtaz99:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By webtaz99:
Something we need to keep in mind about these "hardened facilities". We don't need to destroy them if we destroy their infrastructure (power lines, water pipes, etc.) and any vehicles trying to enter or leave. An enrichment plant needs something to enrich. And the fact that they have spread out their facilities makes them vulnerable to interdiction of transportation between them.

All that aside, what better use is there for nukes than using them to prevent the "wrong" people from making more?


Hardened facilities will have self-contained infrastructure, or it will be 'hardened' and buried as well - this ain't a video game...


Any given facility may or may not. That's why I mentioned the vehicles. Or does Iran have a top-secret nuke-hardened underground rail system spider-webbing the desert?


It doesn't take that....

If you are taking the time to build a hardened underground complex, you are taking the time to stock it with whatever items may be needed to sit out an attack... I mean, if ARFCOMers are hoarding stale MREs, surplus AK mags, and ammo so they can survive 'SHTF' in their basement, how hard would it be for a national government building a secret underground nuclear research bunker to stock up a storage room with enough supplies to outlast your typical NATO bombing campaign????

They don't need vehicles, they just need enough supplies on site to keep going for a month or so... Or covert resupply points that use 'protected' buildings as cover (no, that food is going to a HOSPITAL, not a nuclear research facility)....

Underground power and commo wires should be within their reach... On site generators and hardened underground store-rooms definitely... What self-respecting megolomaniac wouldn't do it - fuck, SADDAM DID IT!
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 6:25:48 AM EST

Originally Posted By Chaingun:
A viable option, overthrow the Iranian gov from within.


Again... Spy business...

It would be nice if we could do that sort of thing (or the 'Accident' scenario)...

Sometimes there are 'better' ways to fix a problem than blowing shit up...

Link Posted: 1/3/2007 6:26:41 AM EST
So you're saying they go from yellow cake to finished nukes in one facility?
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 6:28:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
The only viable option is sabotage....

Of the old-fashioned, delivered-by-shoe-leather kind...

In movie terms, this is a job for James Bond, not Maverick & Goose....

A PRE-EMPTIVE NUKE STRIKE IS NOT AN OPTION - it simply won't destroy the facilities in question, and will only piss off Iran even more. Since Israel does not have the ground/naval capabilities to actually invade Iran (it's call the Israeli DEFENSE force for a reason - they don't have the capability to operate a ground campaign outside their immediate region), the only other pre-emptive nuke scenario (as 'preparation' for a land attack) is out the window...

Remember: NUKES ARE POLITICAL BARGAINING CHIPS - once the shooting starts, we're back to conventional bombs & bullets - just like the Cold War....

Further, the IAF doesn't have the ability to destroy the program completely from the air... For that matter, the USAF may not be able to completely destroy it from the air...

The best option is for someone to "arrange" for the Iranians to have an "Accident" involving nuclear material, and maybe a Russian-made reactor or two (you never know with that shit, it's got a worse record than Glock...)...

Such an "Accident" would make it much more difficult for their nuclear program to be tolerated, especially if the fallout were to be distributed over the 'right' nations...

Like I said - cloak & dagger, not 'weapons free, fire at will'....


I agree. I also agree that overthrowing from within is the only other viable option.
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 6:31:30 AM EST

Originally Posted By webtaz99:
So you're saying they go from yellow cake to finished nukes in one facility?


No, I'm saying that they build their system so that all they have to do is 'freeze' and wait for the jets to stop circling, and to harden it enough that even those places we find are extremely hard to kill without going in on the ground....

Unless we actually know where each and every bit of it is, and we get it all at once, an air campaign will be near-useless... They will just pull a 'Saddam', hiding everything in the secret facilities & hardened bunkers until people look away... Remember - they have as long as it takes them.... We're the ones on the clock, they're pacing the race....

And if we have that much info, we're back to 'sabotage' being a far better option than blasting the fuck out of Iran and hoping we hit everything hard enough to destroy it...
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 3:47:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By Fistus:
Terms And Conditions For Individual Subscriptions to Stratfor ("The Service")

1.4 Subscribers may not post any intelligence from the Service to newsgroups, mail lists, or electronic bulletin boards, without the prior written consent of Stratfor.



This article was on the open part of the site and was not part of their subscription service. I don't have a subscription.
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 4:08:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/3/2007 4:08:18 PM EST by glockguy40]

Originally Posted By Chaingun:
A viable option, overthrow the Iranian gov from within.


Why that will not work for the forseeable future:

www.twq.com/07winter/docs/07winter_hentov.pdf
Link Posted: 1/3/2007 4:13:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/3/2007 4:14:12 PM EST by glockguy40]

Originally Posted By webtaz99:
So you're saying they go from yellow cake to finished nukes in one facility?


No. They produce their yellow cake, UF4, UF6 and uranium metal at their Isfahan Conversion facility. They enrich that uranium supposedly only at Natanz.

However, they have already produced over 110 tons of UF6 gas (the feedstock used for enrichment). That is enough UF6 to make roughly 25 bombs worth of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU). This material has already been put into storage in Tunnels that Iran has dug deeply into a mountain and reinforced. They may have other storage locations for their UF6 that we do not know about that are located near their enrichment facility in Natanz. Hell, they may have other enrichment facilities we don't know about as well. Our intel is very thin on Iran's program.... you can never know- what you don't know.
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