"Bomb Bomb Iran"? Not Likely

[Washington Post] David Ignatius - Analysts speculate about the danger of a U.S. or Israeli military attack on Iran before the Bush administration departs office next January. But if you read the tea leaves carefully, the evidence is actually pointing in the opposite direction. The administration's wariness of military options is also clear from recent efforts to dissuade Israel from attacking Iranian nuclear facilities. Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, traveled to Israel in June, followed by Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Both officials explained why the U.S. believes an attack isn't necessary now, because the Iranians can't yet build a nuclear weapon, and why an attack would damage U.S. national interests. They also informed the Israelis that the U.S. would oppose overflights of Iraqi airspace to attack Iran, an administration official said. U.S. opposition to an Israeli military strike now is based on four factors, the official said. First, a strike would retard the Iranian nuclear program without destroying it. Second, a strike would rally support for the unpopular government of President Ahmadinejad. Third, an attack would undermine U.S. policy in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, finally, a strike against Iran, as with any military action, would have unpredictable consequences.

2008-08-04 01:00:00

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