U.S must get tougher on Iran before it is too late
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 02:10
The situation in Iran may soon come to a boiling point. Whatever the outcome between the West and Iran, one thing is certain – there is no easy answer on how to deal with Iran.
Conventional wisdom for several years has been that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon despite their ardent claims that they are only seeking to use nuclear technology for peaceful means.
Whether people like it or not, Iran is absolutely entitled to the use of nuclear energy for civilian purposes; however, under no circumstances must the U.S. let Iran get its hands on nuclear weapons. Whether or not we take the lead on this issue, the world is going to watch what the U.S. does before any steps are taken for or against. Leave no doubt; despite the recession and all of the other issues facing the U.S., we are still the single greatest military hegemony on the world stage.
It may sound like I am preaching to the choir with the usual tag line of "Iran must never get a nuclear weapon" talk; however, given the regional and for that matter, global, implication, the U.S. has no choice but to take a strong stand on this issue. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently issued a stern warning to the U.N.– a clear red line must be drawn.
I may not agree with how the Israeli Prime Minister has handled the situation at times. Nonetheless, he is a 100% correct on the notion a clear line must be drawn.
This is where, metaphorically, the rubber meets the road. Where does the line get drawn? What are the repercussions for crossing that supposed line? What happens if we do decide to act militarily, or more importantly, what happens we if do not act?
These are all incredibly tough questions that have potentially earth-shattering ramifications. In the end, we must decide what is the best worst-case scenario.
Now, for some the answer is cut and dry: we should blow Iran’s nuclear facilities to smithereens.
Though, the answer is clearly not that simple. This is an incredibility nuanced issue that goes far beyond what a single article can elaborate on. If the West fails to curtail Iran’s current trajectory, leave no doubt, the nation of Israel will act decisively ,despite the overwhelming risk such a move poses. Aside from doing nothing and letting Iran get a nuke, this, in my belief, is the absolute worst case scenario.
Many fear this could have a cataclysmic domino effect that would lead to a regional war or something even bigger. With the entire Middle East already being a powder keg, this could be the match that sparks the fire.
This is why the U.S.’s leadership is so pivotal in finding a solution, even if the only solution is the U.S. taking military action. In that scenario, the US must not take the irrational and hasty steps it did in Iraq under somewhat similar circumstances. We must build a strong coalition with our allies around the world.
Many fear though the administration is taking their eye off the ball during election season, and the internal strife between the U.S. and Israel over how to handle the situation seems to be growing.
If nothing changes I do believe the U.S. will launch a massive air strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. However, this will come with a heavy cost given the kind of reaction it will elicit from Iran militarily.
Given the far more stark possible outcomes of the other scenarios, this is likely least unfavorable of all three hellish scenarios.
The U.S.’s massive ability to project an overwhelming use of force will keep Iran’s reaction more limited than what it would be otherwise.
It will also send the message that despite the overwhelming risks involved, we will still act if no other options are left on the table.