Saturday, November 27, 2004


So when do we go after Iran?

The latest EU-brokered “let’s pretend the Iranians don’t want nukes” deal is supposed to have a three-month period of testing before we look at their compliance. Already the Iranians are haggling over the meaning of the word “is” and related nuclear matters.

I wondered if a Kerry victory in November would prompt us to accelerate an operation to support Iranian rebels in Iran. No need now, so do we go in the spring of 2005? As I noted, our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is supposed to be filled in the spring (April 1st, I think). Assuming our European friends nail down an agreement in the next couple weeks, a three-month probation period puts us to mid-March where we would have the opportunity to declare Iran in violation of their agreements and put plans in motion.

Of course, this assumes the Europeans are at least somewhat on board. It assumes we are preparing to support Iranian rebels with air special forces support and perhaps some conventional units for stiffening. It certainly assumes that there are Iranians ready to put their hostility toward the mullahs into concrete action—particularly Iranian military forces.

I’m assuming a lot here, but an invasion can’t work with what we’ve got available. Air strikes are a last resort since we don’t know for sure what they have now; and after the strikes, they’ll dig deeper to prevent the next strike from working. Deterrence may not work if they think it is their Islamic duty to take one for the team by killing as many of us as they can. And coping with defense by deploying missile defenses around Iran depends on maintaining host country cooperation, deploying enough anti-missiles, and counts on the Iranians not using an old freighter to deliver a nuke to a port or some other way of bypassing the missile route. I think the Europeans are showing that diplomacy will not work.

But I’m also assuming that Iran is on the Axis of Evil for a reason and that we will not close our eyes to the threat just because the task ahead is hard.

I assume we have something in the works to deal with Iran. Since diplomacy, air strikes, invasion, deterrence, and defense won’t work; we must be planning regime change. And since regime change cannot simply impose a new regime, we must be supporting internal forces who will overthrow the unpopular mullahs.

A lot of assumptions on my part, true; but the alternative is to believe that we really are counting on the Europeans to talk their way to our safety.