Does America Have Options On Striking Iran Without Going Nuclear

Does America have options on striking Iran without going nuclear?

Apparently America does. (See here) a website that reports on the development of a massive conventional weapon that could be as effective as a tactical nuclear weapon.

While Iranian nuclear development sites might be hardened to the point they would be resistant to even such a weapon, it is hard to imagine that wise use of such a weapon on support facilities, entrances to the site etc, could not be effective in making the sustainability of operations at the site untenable.

My question is this. Where does the world community (including Russia and China) stand on this? Where do we draw our "line in the sand"? If there is going to be a line it has to be drawn somewhere.

Anything we allow Iran to do other nations are going to demand the same rights. If Iran uses what she is allowed to do to develop nuclear weapons, other nations are going to demand the same rights. Do we want every tin pot dictator on this planet armed with nuclear weapons? Isn't the world as a whole going to become a less desirable place to live as a result?

Can the Iranian "problem" be dealt with using something less then military force? I think it can. However I do not see much evidence that all members of the United Nations Security Council are willing to authorize the steps necessary to deal with the problem with something less then military force.

Even if the UN Security Council refuses to cooperate, I could see ways of dealing with the problem other then resorting to military force. However this is going to result in uncooperative members of the UN Security Council (I.E. Russia and China) being declared on the wrong side of the "line in the sand" and we will have a resumption of the Cold War. Once again we will "choose sides".

If Russia and China have some real wisdom on this issue on how to resolve the problem, I have yet to witness any of it. Russian and Chinese reluctance to follow American leadership often seems to be solely attempts to thwart American leadership for the sake of thwarting it alone.

I'm not saying American leadership is perfect. But just where will Russian and Chinese leadership get us? What is their vision for the future of the world? I'm still waiting to see something I would call acceptable.


Blogger Michael said...

Remember, you are making the assumption that Iran actually is seeking to make nuclear weapons. That, intent, however, has not actually been established or proven.

Uranium enrichment is part of a civilian nuclear program, and under the NNPT, attainment of a civilian nuclear program is Iran's "right".

Since Iranian intent is suspect, the goal should be extensive and complete monitoring. Even if Iran is determined to make their own nukes, this is not going to be a reality for years so we actually have quite a lot of time. Things will become self evident.

At present, I believe that the threat of a military strike, is completely premature.

Michael Tam
vitualis' Medical Rants

4/12/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

Let me point (here) to an article from the British Guardian that reports the European Union is convinced Iran is actively seeking to produce a nuclear weapon.

Please note the intelligence assessment it reports on "draws upon material gathered by British, French, German and Belgian agencies". No mention of tainted American or Israeli intelligence material.

So, in my opinion, Iranian intent is not suspect. If Iranian intent is solely the development of a civilian nuclear program, Russia offered an alternative that should have been acceptable.

As for how long it will take Iran to develop a weapon, that is disputed. You seem to have accepted that it will involve several years. You might be right, but those who claim it could be shorter might be right as well. Reports are that, with recent advances Iran has herself claimed to have achieved, Iran could have enough material to fashion a small nuclear device in a matter of several months. While Iran might not have the knowledge or capability to produce a small efficient warhead that could be loaded onto a missile, I believe I have enough knowledge that I could assemble a crude device myself, given the material necessary. Why should I not believe that Iran could not do the same?

4/13/2006 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

As I read what I have written, I would hope that readers forgive me for heavy reliance on double negatives.

I think that what I was trying to say is still clear. However if you judge what I say by the "Queen's English" I stand guilty as charged.

I will continue to try and do better.

4/13/2006 02:06:00 PM  

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