Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Next year On Jerusalem

It seems clear that the United States doesn't want Iran to go nuclear in 2012 (well, not until mid-November, anyway) and doesn't want Israel to strike Iran in that time.

It makes sense that we are trying to hold off Israel, which is more willing to strike Iran, with promises we'd do the job better than the Israelis can if Iran crosses a red line on the way to nuclear weapons:

The Obama administration is trying to assure Israel privately that it would strike Iran militarily if Tehran’s nuclear program crosses certain “red lines”—while attempting to dissuade the Israelis from acting unilaterally.

That fits my assessment of the situation.

But I also worry that Iran is well aware of what our red lines might be and will attempt to distract us with progress toward those red lines while they buy nuclear weapons from someone to deter an attack until Iran can safely cross those red lines to indigenous nuclear capabilities.

And does Israel trust that the Obama administration would strike, given that our government's goal may only to be to delay the day Iran crosses red lines past election day in November 2012?

I'll guess that Israel will accept the deal but that they will be the ones to judge if Iran crosses a red line and then tell us that we have a certain amount of time to make good on our pledge to strike before Israel tries to do the job.

There's still that problem of whether Iran is working with full knowledge of what will trigger a strike.

And there's also the problem of having back up programs dispersed to other countries in order to rebuild in Iran after the dust settles.

Still, maybe we are ahead of the Iranians and our military isn't counting on our intelligence organizations to (for the first time) give our leaders accurate warnings of when a state goes nuclear.