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Saturday, April 11, 2015

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter agrees with Ehud Barak: 'Of course we can destroy Iran's nuclear capability'

Shavua tov v'kayitz bari - a good week and a healthy summer (although at 45 degrees and rain, it feels more like winter here in Jerusalem).

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told CNN on Friday that the United States has the capability of destroying Iran's nuclear capability - it just doesn't plan on doing so right now. You might recall former Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak saying something similar before the holiday.
Carter said that the current framework for a deal with Iran does not take the military option off the table but added that it will currently not be used.
"We have the capability to shut down, set back and destroy the Iranian nuclear program and I believe the Iranians know that and understand that," he said, referencing the military's most powerful ground-penetrating bomb, the Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP).
The MOP -- which can explode 200 feet underground and is designed to destroy deeply buried and fortified targets -- is ready for use, Carter said.
Carter added that the administration's objective is to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon through negotiations, "rather than through military action because military action is reversible overtime."
Military action is 'reversible over time'? Really? Funny that never happened in Nazi Germany or Japan. And instead you're going to worry that military action is 'reversible' and therefore make an agreement with a sunset clause that all but guarantees a nuclear weapon when the agreement is? I realize that Obama is a total non-believer in the use and usefulness of military force, but isn't Carter someone who spent a lot of time in the US Army? How come he doesn't get it?

Aaron Lerner is furious at the media for not pushing back at Carter.
Yes, "military action is reversible overtime", if an American operation - of at most a few days - to "shut down, set back and destroy the Iranian nuclear program" was followed by benign neglect on America's part.

But that's a profoundly absurd assumption.

So the next time you are being briefed by an American ask them the following questions:

After the United States exercises its capability to shut down, set back and destroy the Iranian nuclear program - as well as Iran's mid-range and long-range missile program:

#1. Would it be possible for the U.S. to detect indications of Iranian efforts to restore these programs?

#2. Would the United States have "the capability to shut down, set back and destroy" these efforts to restore the destroyed programs?

#3. Is it reasonable to assume that the cost of this follow up "lawn mowing" would be magnitudes less than that cost of the initial American operation to destroy these programs? 
I'd add another question: How much higher will the cost of shutting down an Iranian nuclear weapon be when this 'agreement' expires than it is now?

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