Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Subliminal Start?

I think Israel will take a shot at Iran's nuclear program if they believe Iran will go nuclear without the international community or America doing anything about it.

I figured that clandestine operations could be part of such a strike. But I didn't consider that Israel might begin the attack with clandestine attacks. Is that what is happening? (tip to Instapundit)

AN IRANIAN nuclear facility has been hit by a huge explosion, the second such blast in a month, prompting speculation that Tehran's military and atomic sites are under attack.

Satellite imagery seen by The Times confirmed that a blast that rocked the city of Isfahan on Monday struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran.

Or it could be America, I suppose. Ledeen thinks homegrown Iranians are doing it. Maybe. But if Iran's nuclear program is so popular there, why attack it to undermine the regime? And why hit what have to be pretty hard targets when easier regime targets are around? I admit I have no way of knowing one way or the other, but the internal angle seems too odd.

But it could be a rolling start of a disarming strike that attempts to do as much as possible before Iran really notices they are under attack and responds. Every facility that goes up in flames will be one less that must be hit with aircraft. Which is a reason that I'd think that Israel is more likely than America to be responsible if it is an attack from abroad. We have the power to use overwhelming force once we issue the go order. But Israel has limited assets and so reducing the target list would be very important.

And I recall that we did something similar before Operation Iraqi Freedom. Under cover of the no-fly zones over Iraq, we managed a slow-motion anti-aircraft defense suppression campaign taking advantage of every time some Iraqi popped off an anti-aircraft weapon at our patrolling aircraft to knock down Iraq's air defense radars. So there is a precedent.

And if Iran does lash out at Israel, they have an excuse to escalate. Or Iran could make a bigger mistake and lash out at America, drawing us into the fight when we might not choose to join the fight.

An interesting possibility that I hadn't considered before.

Or I'm connecting dots with no relation to each other. Hard to say.

But if things keep blowing up ...