- Peace Garden: Is Iran next?

Is Iran next?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Threat of military action hangs over escalating tensions with Iran.

he escalating confrontation over Iran's nuclear program raises an unsettling question: Is Iran the next target for U.S. military action?
Some analysts think so. The focus is on diplomacy for now, but President Bush hasn't ruled out the use of force to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Tensions are likely to ratchet up a notch next Friday if, as expected, Iran ignores a U.N. Aug. 31 deadline to abandon its uranium-enrichment program.
Armed conflict isn't imminent or inevitable, and it wouldn't necessarily take the form of a full-scale invasion. Airstrikes alone might be the choice. But the possibility of military action lurks on the sidelines of the diplomatic dance that will play out over the coming months at the U.N. Security Council.
"We are creating a situation where everything we're going to try short of military force is going to fail," said Ilan Berman, an Iran expert at the American Foreign Policy Council, which favors an aggressive approach. "By the spring of next year, we're going to be looking at very serious discussions about next steps, including military options."
The steps to war could follow the same path that led to the invasion of Iraq: The U.N. passes a resolution demanding an end to Iranian nuclear-weapons development, then fails to enforce it. Bush prods the U.N. to support words with action. The U.N. dithers. Bush unleashes the U.S. military.
The article goes on to point out some "constraints" to taking this action. (Of course sanity and reality are not two of them). But it is a moot point if we get a stand-in like Israel - right?

It's like W is playing a big game of RISK. Just wish he and his buddies would realize that the game they're playing involves real folks, real weapons and real death.

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