February 14, 2007

War with Iran, Part 2

Filed under: politics — ted @ 10:32 am

Is now up at Harper’s.

My bottom line guess is that we don’t have the intelligence or military capability that would justify an attack on Iran that would be worth the significant cost. With the President politically constrained, that makes me bet against it, but the spread isn’t big.



  1. I know many people fear that we are rushing towards war with Iran, but I’m fairly optimistic that won’t be necessary.

    Exhibit A: For the last few months, when asked about Iran, the standard White House answer has been “all options are on the table.” In the last week or so, White House officials have been explicitly saying there is “no plan to invade Iran.” Now, whether or not that second statement is true, in Diplomatic-ese that “down-shift” in language signals a new policy.

    The reason, I think, is because we’re winning this confrontation. The UN Security Council has approved sanctions, the IAEA has criticized Iran’s nuclear program, and even Europe is increasingly hostile towards Iran. Iran’s isolation is starting to work. In recent Iranian elections, many reformers won, which was universally interpreted as a sign of Ahmadinejad’s increasing unpopularity – both among voters and the ruling elite who actually run the country.

    Right now, the U.S. is “downshifting” its rhetoric, because it wants to maintain and increase international pressure on Iran, without scaring away any of the unreliable (read: China & Russia) members of the coalition. As long as this works, I think we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing.


    Comment by D.A.S. — February 19, 2007 @ 10:53 am

  2. Thanks for stopping by, D. I think you’re right about the diplomatic pressures on Iran more or less working. Hopefully this type of engagement will win out against the administration’s warmongers.

    Comment by Ted — February 20, 2007 @ 11:41 am

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