There is irrefutable evidence that Iran is working on nuclear weapons. Iran, as reported by the IAEA, is working on uranium deuteride, which has no civilian applications. Its only application is as a trigger for nuclear weapons. Furthermore, the latest IAEA report provides further evidence of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, including a number of centrifuges much higher than necessary for civilian enrichment purposes.
There is currently a debate about what to do about it ongoing in the Republican Party.
Ron Paul and his minions still deny that there is any evidence that Iran is working on nuclear weapons, despite all the evidence that exists, and they say that even if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, it would be justified in doing so and would not be a threat to the US nor Israel.
Conservatives, including Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and some NRO columnists seem to believe that America’s only resort is to bomb Iran if it wants to be safe.
Both sides are wrong.
Conservative candidates’ plan (bombing Iran) is better than doing nothing (which is what Ron Paul advocates), but it’s still a risky option and whatever benefits it may accrue would be outweighed by the disadvantages. An attack on Iran would only delay the Iranian nuclear program by a few years. It would not prevent the eventual emergence of the outcome that we conservatives fear – a nuclear-armed theocratic Iran. It would cause Iran to close the Straits of Hormuz, choking the world’s oil supply and sending oil and gasoline prices into the stratosphere. It would also cause Iran to activate its hidden Hezbollah cells in the US and to retaliate against Israel, certainly with ballistic missiles and probably even with weapons of mass murder.
Ron Paul’s plan – doing nothing – is even worse. He would allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons and he doesn’t mind if that happens. He believes that America brought this upon itself.
What if I told you that America does not have to choose between attacking Iran and leaving itself and Israel unprotected against an Iranian nuclear threat?
I’m asking because there is such a possibility.
My plan does not require bombing Iran, starting a new war in the Middle East, or choking the Strait of Hormuz. Specifically, I propose three paths which should be pursued concurrently:
1) Missile defense;
2) Nuclear deterrence; and
3) Covert actions to topple the Iranian regime.
I believe in a strong defense to prevent war, not to start one.
I believe that a strong military offers a high chance that the US will never have to use it.
Firstly, missile defense. In the Middle Eastern region, the US should permanently deploy BMD-capable warships in the Persian Gulf; Airborne Laser planes in Turkey and Iraq; and PATRIOT and THAAD batteries in Qatar, Turkey (including at USAF bases), and in countries which might request such batteries. The US should also sell PATRIOT and THAAD systems to countries like the UAE which request them (the UAE have requested THAAD systems worth $7 bn). It should also encourage Israel to deploy a fourth Arrow battery and assist it financially if needed. In Europe, the US should deploy a radar, 10 ground-based interceptors, and BMD-capable ships in the Black Sea and the Med. In the long term, the US should also deploy BM interceptors in space, because all ballistic missiles except those of very short ranges have to travel through space. The MDA should therefore reactive Ronald Reagan’s Brilliant Pebbles program.
Missile defense doesn’t kill or threaten anyone. It only PROTECTS people. That’s its only purpose. It’s a purely defensive system. America’s goal should be to prevent any ballistic missiles from hitting any of its allies. Therefore, coverage must be comprehensive.
Then, as Herman Cain rightly said, the US could say to Ahmadinejad, “Make my day”.
Secondly, nuclear deterrence. The US should not only modernize and replace all three legs of its nuclear deterrent – and the nuclear warheads – it should also make it public and clear that it protects Israel as well as America’s Arab allies, and that any Iranian or terrorist nuclear attack will be met with a swift, devastating retaliation. Similarly, Israel should go public with its nuclear deterrent and promise retaliation if attacked. Both countries should simoultaneously pledge not to use nuclear weapons first.
Thirdly, the US and Israel should continue all efforts to destabilize and topple the Iranian regime without war, including sanctions against the Iranian Central Bank, bans on gasoline exports, other sanctions, encouraging European countries to divest from and stop trading with Iran, encourage the EU to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization (which will dry up this organization’s funding and render it a hollow shell), assassinations, cyber attacks, and aiding the Iranian opposition.
If the free world makes maximum effort to topple the Iranian regime, it will eventually collapse, just like the Soviet regime did, even though the USSR had much larger natural resources, a much stronger military, and a global empire. Ronald Reagan foresaw that the Soviet Union would eventually end up in the dustbin of history. The Iranian regime is also destined to end up there.
These three measures, if pursued in parallel, will keep America safe and will eventually bring about the collapse of the Iranian regime, even if it acquires nuclear weapons. And even if it does, America and its allies will be kept safe by missile defense and a modernized nuclear deterrent, so any Iranian ballistic missile will be intercepted.