Pollack: Short of a Deal, Containing Iran Is the Best Option

Behind the Syria discussion is Iran–and for some strategists–this is the real problem.  Kenneth Pollack became  infamous for his analysis of the second Iraq war, but now at the Brookings Institution he has authored a new book analyzing the situation:

If it cannot reach a diplomatic deal, America will face a choice between two alternatives: using force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear arsenal or containing a nuclear Iran until its regime collapses from its own dysfunction.

It is going to be a difficult choice. For that reason, we need to start thinking about it now. We cannot afford to have our diplomatic efforts collapse suddenly and, as in Syria, be forced to lunge forward unprepared.

via Short of a Deal, Containing Iran Is the Best Option – NYTimes.com.


3 thoughts on “Pollack: Short of a Deal, Containing Iran Is the Best Option”

  1. While I agree with the author that containment is the best option in regards to Iran, we cannot completely discount the merits of a military strike under certain circumstances. Yes, it would destabilize the region, and yes, it would likely cause retaliation, but we have to examine it from a long term point of view. A nuclear armed Iran would be disastrous for the Middle East, and would cause a cold-war scale arms race between the states there – especially in Israel. The last thing the world needs is Israel and Iran pointing nuclear weapons at each other. What’s more, we definitely do not want nuclear arms in the region that houses the majority of the world’s terrorists.

    For these reasons, a military strike against Iran – though costly – may at some point be necessary to prevent the development of nuclear weapons there. As the article states, containment should always be the first option, but we must never take military strikes off the table.

  2. To me it seems like containment is not only the best option, but the best option. War isn’t fought as it used to be fought. The ammunition used in today’s wars is electronic in nature. We can win a war from a computer thousands of miles away. Cyber attacks and economic sanctions will do more damage to Iran’s nuclear program than anything else. When push comes to shove, and Iran has a bill for their food in one hand, and their weapon in another, I would like to think that hunger will win and that they will defund their nuclear program. Additionally, I think that a military strike will hurt us more than help us. The last thing we want is an unstable Middle East. For these reasons, I do not support a military strike under any circumstances.

  3. If I were Iran, I would want to develop nuclear capabilities too. Among others, North Korea did it, Pakistan did it, and look where they stand. No one (by no one I mean the US and co.) even dares invade the two. Nowadays, if your political stance differs from the West’s, your safest bet is to become “non-invadable.” If I’m not mistaken, Iran also possesses the world’s third largest oil reserve… Oil is big money and, after all, didn’t Carter say the following?

    “Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

    I wouldn’t trust Iran with a nuclear arsenal, but who can blame it for its desire to acquire one. I know I don’t.

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