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Posted: 9/27/2004 10:07:00 AM EST
Newsweek September 27, 2004

The U.S. Weighs The Price Of A Pre-Emptive Strike By John Barry and Dan Ephron

Unprepared as anyone is for a showdown with Iran, the threat seems to keep growing. Many defense experts in Israel, the United States and elsewhere believe that Tehran has been taking advantage of loopholes in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is now within a year of mastering key weapons-production technology. They can't prove it, of course, and Iran's leaders deny any intention of developing the bomb. Nevertheless, last week U.S. and Israeli officials were talking of possible military action—even though some believe it's already too late to keep Iran from going nuclear (if it chooses). "We have to start accepting that Iran will probably have the bomb," says one senior Israeli source. There's only one solution, he says: "Look at ways to make sure it's not the mullahs who have their finger on the trigger."

After the Iraq debacle, calls for regime change without substantial evidence of weapons of mass destruction are not likely to gain a lot of traction. But if the allegations are correct, Iran is only one of the countries whose secret nuclear programs hummed along while America waged a single-minded hunt for WMD in Iraq. Another is North Korea, which hasn't stopped claiming that it's turning a stockpile of spent fuel rods into a doomsday arsenal. And arms-control specialists are increasingly alarmed by Brazil's efforts to do precisely what Iran is doing: use centrifuge cascades to enrich uranium—with a couple of key differences. Unlike Iran, Brazil has never signed the NPT's Additional Protocol, which gives expanded inspection rights to the International Atomic Energy Agency. And unlike Iran, Brazil is not letting the IAEA examine its centrifuges. If the Brazilians go through with their program, it's likely to wreck the landmark 1967 treaty that made South America a nuclear-free zone. But the White House has shown scant concern about the risk.

The Iran crisis is more immediate in the eyes of the Bush administration, in part because Iran is among the president's "Axis of Evil." Israel, which has long regarded Iran as a more dire threat than Iraq, is making thinly veiled threats of a unilateral pre-emptive attack, like its 1981 airstrike against Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor. "If the state decides that a military solution is required, then the military has to provide a solution," said Israel's new Air Force chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Elyezer Shkedy, in a newspaper interview last week. "For obvious reasons," he added, "we aren't going to speak of specifics." U.S. defense experts doubt that Israel can pull it off. Iran's facilities (which it insists are for peaceful purposes) are at the far edge of combat range for Israel's aircraft; They're also widely dispersed and, in many cases, deep underground.

But America certainly could do it—and has given the idea some serious thought. "The U.S. capability to make a mess of Iran's nuclear infrastructure is formidable," says veteran Mideast analyst Geoffrey Kemp. "The question is, what then?" NEWSWEEK has learned that the CIA and DIA have war-gamed the likely consequences of a U.S. pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. No one liked the outcome. As an Air Force source tells it, "The war games were unsuccessful at preventing the conflict from escalating."

Instead, administration hawks are pinning their hopes on regime change in Tehran—by covert means, preferably, but by force of arms if necessary. Papers on the idea have circulated inside the administration, mostly labeled "draft" or "working draft" to evade congressional subpoena powers and the Freedom of Information Act. Informed sources say the memos echo the administration's abortive Iraq strategy: oust the existing regime, swiftly install a pro-U.S. government in its place (extracting the new regime's promise to renounce any nuclear ambitions) and get out. This daredevil scheme horrifies U.S. military leaders, and there's no evidence that it has won any backers at the cabinet level.

The NPT has never banned uranium enrichment. That didn't stop the United States, France, Germany and Britain from offering a draft resolution at last week's IAEA Governing Council meeting, demanding that Iran immediately cease such activity. Other council members quickly challenged the provision's legality. Some members of President George W. Bush's own party are throwing up their hands at such clumsy doings. "This administration's nonproliferation strategy consists of flailing around with a two-by-four," says one disgusted Republican elder statesman. And even the administration must realize that its Iran options are limited now by the chaos already overtaking Iraq.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 10:16:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2004 10:16:27 AM EST by TheCynic]

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Newsweek September 27, 2004

The U.S. Weighs The Price Of A Pre-Emptive Strike By John Barry and Dan Ephron

...

But America certainly could do it—and has given the idea some serious thought. "The U.S. capability to make a mess of Iran's nuclear infrastructure is formidable," says veteran Mideast analyst Geoffrey Kemp. "The question is, what then?" NEWSWEEK has learned that the CIA and DIA have war-gamed the likely consequences of a U.S. pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. No one liked the outcome. As an Air Force source tells it, "The war games were unsuccessful at preventing the conflict from escalating."

...




What happens when we don't have a choice anymore?

Link Posted: 9/27/2004 10:18:58 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 10:21:56 AM EST
The spooks need to handle this one. The last call for student protests was pretty succesful so I'd expect more and maybe an 'accident' or three involving the mullahs
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 10:24:39 AM EST
I think any strike against Iran would have to be a long (multiweek) and devastatingly thorough operation, so that their capabilties are degraded as much as possible. I dont think a one-strike raid like Osirik in 1982 would work against Iran.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 10:30:13 AM EST
Iran, North Korea and Brazil all developing nuclear weapons...

Can someone please explain to me why we haven't conquered the entire world? I think it is time!
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 10:30:34 AM EST
we are living in pre- WWIII days, should make for an interesting although tragic de-population of the middle east.

america will certianly suffer great losses in the comming days, but not near the total extinction of an entire race of the arab/muslum when our nukes turn the sand box over there into a glass hiway.

I think korea will see their errors and fall back in line after they witness the fate of anyone who wishes to assualt the free world with nukes.

of course this will also spark very violent protests here in america, as the anti war communists/hippies will surely object .

oh well, should be fun. I'm ready for them.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 10:50:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By stormwalker:
we are living in pre- WWIII days, should make for an interesting although tragic de-population of the middle east.

america will certianly suffer great losses in the comming days, but not near the total extinction of an entire race of the arab/muslum when our nukes turn the sand box over there into a glass hiway.

I think korea will see their errors and fall back in line after they witness the fate of anyone who wishes to assualt the free world with nukes.

of course this will also spark very violent protests here in america, as the anti war communists/hippies will surely object .

oh well, should be fun. I'm ready for them.



Grow up.

I'm sure everyone is quaking in their boots
at the thought of facing your side-folder 10/22
with 30rd HotLipz mag.

I fucking hate keyboard commandos.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 10:57:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By TheCynic:

Originally Posted By stormwalker:
we are living in pre- WWIII days, should make for an interesting although tragic de-population of the middle east.

america will certianly suffer great losses in the comming days, but not near the total extinction of an entire race of the arab/muslum when our nukes turn the sand box over there into a glass hiway.

I think korea will see their errors and fall back in line after they witness the fate of anyone who wishes to assualt the free world with nukes.

of course this will also spark very violent protests here in america, as the anti war communists/hippies will surely object .

oh well, should be fun. I'm ready for them.



Grow up.

I'm sure everyone is quaking in their boots
at the thought of facing your side-folder 10/22
with 30rd HotLipz mag.

I fucking hate keyboard commandos.



Surely you have made these same generalizations when ARFCOM makes fun of DU when they start talking revolt.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 11:17:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By Torf:

Originally Posted By TheCynic:

Originally Posted By stormwalker:
we are living in pre- WWIII days, should make for an interesting although tragic de-population of the middle east.

america will certianly suffer great losses in the comming days, but not near the total extinction of an entire race of the arab/muslum when our nukes turn the sand box over there into a glass hiway.

I think korea will see their errors and fall back in line after they witness the fate of anyone who wishes to assualt the free world with nukes.

of course this will also spark very violent protests here in america, as the anti war communists/hippies will surely object .

oh well, should be fun. I'm ready for them.



Grow up.

I'm sure everyone is quaking in their boots
at the thought of facing your side-folder 10/22
with 30rd HotLipz mag.

I fucking hate keyboard commandos.



Surely you have made these same generalizations when ARFCOM makes fun of DU when they start talking revolt.



I don't want to come off sounding
like a holier-than-thou prick, but
no, I haven't. And I damned sure
would not think that a civil war would
be "fun".

Actually, my comment was more
aimed at the cavelier attitude the
poster took towards, what I consider
to be, the first stages of WWIII.

Sorry - I'm getting grumpy in my old
age...I'm getting too close to 30.


Link Posted: 9/27/2004 11:28:01 AM EST
Let Israel attack'em.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 11:31:30 AM EST
Islam vs Christianity

Round and round again we go, where we stop, we'll never know!
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 11:43:22 AM EST
Guyz...step back and take a deep breath. Take a look at the source and remember WHO it is that Newsleak would like to see in the White House.

I'm NOT denying much of what they are saying...but read the words CAREFULLY for spin. This is a Bush hit piece.

Yes...an Islamofacist bomb is a real threat. Since the United States is now actively engaged in a war with Iran with both sides using surrogates, they the terrorists and we the Iraqis, the Iranians would likely provide a nuclear weapon to terrorists to use on Israel or the United States if the risk of discovery could be reduced to a point [in their minds] that we might not find out the source and thus turn their entire country into a radioactive moonscape for 25,000 years. Finally, YES, we have wargamed this scenario and others involving Iran AND other evil states many times. So what?

If the NCA decides that there is a clear and present danger to the United States, we will attack with an appropriate response. The Israelis will likely do the same thing. The question is basically who has the capability to accomplish the job and who will go first?

The "regime change" timeline may not permit a long gestation period. A strike sooner than later might be appropriate. None of us are "in the loop" so all of this is mere speculation. I can state this with 100% certainty. This HAS been modeled and gamed. Plans are ready. All our forces need is the "Go Code".

This Newsleak article though? I wouldn't get my skivs in a bunch over it. Like I said...it is full of anti-Bush propaganda.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 12:14:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By stormwalker:
we are living in pre- WWIII days, should make for an interesting although tragic de-population of the middle east.

america will certianly suffer great losses in the comming days, but not near the total extinction of an entire race of the arab/muslum when our nukes turn the sand box over there into a glass hiway.

I think korea will see their errors and fall back in line after they witness the fate of anyone who wishes to assualt the free world with nukes.

of course this will also spark very violent protests here in america, as the anti war communists/hippies will surely object .

oh well, should be fun. I'm ready for them.



guys that make statements like this usually piss thier pants when their wives yell at them.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 12:27:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hokie:
Islam vs Christianity

Round and round again we go, where we stop, we'll never know!hr


Actually, it is Islam against the World.

Islam divides the world into two parts: "The House of Islam," and the other is "The House of War."

Guess which one we live in?
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 12:29:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By AClay47:

Originally Posted By Hokie:
Islam vs Christianity

Round and round again we go, where we stop, we'll never know!



Actually, it is Islam against the World.

Islam divides the world into two parts: "The House of Islam," and the other is "The House of War."

Guess which one we live in?



Good point
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 12:32:10 PM EST

...A Pre-Emptive Strike By John Barry and Dan Ephron.


Wha...? What can those two do? Why not a pre-emptive strike by the Airforce or by the Navy?

I don't think John and Dan could inflict much damage.

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