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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Window for military action against Iran closing, Panetta trying to stop Israel from acting

The possibility of taking military action against Iran's nuclear program is growing slimmer according to an Israeli-American scholar on nuclear proliferation.
“I think we are moving to the point that the chance of success for doing something effective militarily is getting slimmer,” Cohen warned in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

"The fact that the Iranian nuclear program is further dispersed, that the time for Iran to reach a breakout capability gets shorter and that material can be moved quickly from site to site, would require a very dynamic intelligence capability to know where everything is,” he said.


Furthermore, according to Cohen, even if Israel had all of the intelligence it would still be impossible “to know that you know everything important since you do not know what you do not know.”
But here's the most intriguing part of Cohen's interview:
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s visit to Israel last week, Cohen said, was likely part of an American effort to ensure that Israel is not planning any unilateral military steps that would not be coordinated first with Washington.

“The US wants itself, and also Israel, to be engaged in a thorough effort to contain Iran – like the way the Soviet Union was contained during the Cold War – meaning that for all practical purposes and short of extreme circumstances, both the US and Israel would have to put aside the military option and instead work to contain Iran,” Cohen said.

“My gut sense is that something happened in recent weeks which was interpreted as if Israel had made clear that the military option is alive and kicking, and Panetta wanted to make sure that Israeli independent action will not happen,” he said.
What could go wrong?

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At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush was not enthusiastic about bucking American intelligence distaste for confronting Iranian nukes.

Obama: a) is afraid of directly taking on anything other than non-state or third-tier power nations; b) is a multi-lateralist; c) who knows, really is a sock-puppet for Islamic or ex-Soviet or Sorosian string pullers behind the scenes.

Sanctions were always about appeasing US domestic pressure to prevent Iranian nukes while slowing down nuke acquisition (w/other braking devices like Stuxnet) for later containment; delaying while punching holes in Iranian secrecy to gain some transparency--that was the point (though, if c) was accurate giving Iran time to actually acquire the nukes was part of it, too--iff).

But with Israel it's always the dogs that don't bark.

If Israel wanted to decisively sanction the PA it would do so. It doesn't.

If the top echelons had made up their minds Iran was an existential threat would a dangerously-incompetent/incompetently-dangerous/subversive prat git like Obama stop them?

The Bertie Woosters of the world ultimately do not keep the Jeeves from doing what Jeeves must do.

Obama is a Bertie. True, he is extraordinarily dangerous because Khameni is not, Ahmadenijad is not, Putin is not etc. etc. etc.

But neither is Bibi. The Likud long ago decided on a containment strategy for the PA.

Similarly they backed into a holding strategy of containing Iran. Sure, they'll make the acquisition of nukes more troublesome by popping off Iranian scientists and key engineers and infiltrating the computer C&C--but these are also stages of containment.

Israel never decided to pull the trigger on Iran. The current twit in the White House is as good an excuse as any to keep the safety on.


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