Thursday, January 06, 2011

Neocon Approaches to Containing Iran

Now, to end the article, the authors note that there is that nasty risk that war with Iran might actually have consequences; that containment might in fact work and allow the United States to use those military assets to "defend vital interests elsewhere." But "containment could require a far larger military presence than the United States has traditionally maintained in the Middle East," even as the authors voice their support for significantly increasing conventional forces in the Middle East under their plan.

I'm just astonished, overcome by the strawman that they've developed. There are just so many things wrong with this construct, it is hard to put words against it. Nonproliferation activities, to include sanctions, have been shown to work in retarding and in some cases, reversing offensive WMD programs. Yes, military options are another facet, if a conflict is seen as on the horizon. But the failure here to understand the basic need for a regional approach to enhance stability and advance American interests is just staggering.

This is the real danger of allowing idealists, of which neocons are a party, into positions of actual responsibility. They create worst-case scenarios that justify taking extreme measures that they believe will lead to the reality that they want, rather than dealing with the reality that actually exists. This fradulent attempt at dismissing the option of containing Iran should not stand unopposed, and I do hope that other serious defense analysts will rise up against the strawman that these authors have developed.

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