Friday, December 29, 2006

So Who Drew Short Straw?

I had wondered what caused the recent Saudi confidence in regard to Iran:

Saudi Arabia's military is not nearly as good as it was twenty years ago. Yet Saudi Arabia seems willing to tangle with the Iranians now? When Iran could soon have nuclear missiles? And with Saudi Shias potentially looking to Tehran for support?

Well, this may be the reason:

There is a growing convergence of opinion among the leaders of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt that only an aerial bombardment of 17 known nuclear sites could retard Iran's nuclear ambitions by five to 10 years. One U.S. intel topsider remarked (not for attribution), "If we can gain five years that way, it's worth considering." He speculated Iran's moderate reformers could gain power in the interim.

Iran under the mullahs will get a nuclear weapons capability. We'd only be buying time by striking Iran.

But we'd at least have some time. That is better than just hoping for time and hoping our intelligence services can tell us when the threat is "imminent"--that apparent Gold standard for action in some quarters.

If a strike is likely, the question remains who does the deed? Do we do it thoroughly? Who will openly help us? Or do we subcontract to the Israelis?