I’ve said it until I’m blue in the face, but I guess I’ll say it again: Iran is operating out of a perception of threat and provocative militarism towards Iran will only increase the likelihood that they decide to seek a deterrent (That said, of course, the recent IAEA report DID NOT conclude or provide any solid evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program).
But now, the Obama administration has decided to treat the situation with more bombs. More bombs typically translates to more peace, right? The Wall Street Journal:
The Obama administration has quietly drawn up plans to provide a key Persian Gulf ally with thousands of advanced “bunker-buster” bombs and other munitions, part of a stepped-up U.S. effort to build a regional coalition to counter Iran.
The proposed sale to the United Arab Emirates would vastly expand the existing capabilities of the country’s air force to target fixed structures, which could include bunkers and tunnels—the kind of installations where Iran is believed to be developing weapons.
This is simply more of the same policy…namely, of garrisoning Iran’s surroundings with threatening militarism.
Paul Pillar recently debunked the myth that countries – like Libya, for example – decided to give up their nuclear weapons programs after we destroyed Iraq in a savage illegal war of aggression. They got the message, so goes the tale, that they will be attacked unless they give up nuclear weapons programs. But this is probably wrong in the case of Libya: Gadhafi gave it up well before the invasion of Iraq and ultimately ended the program because the United States gave him the alternative option of normalizing relations as opposed to attaining nuclear weapons. (I have a secret hunch that he actually decided to give up nuclear weapons so that he could receive visits from his crush, Condoleeza Rice.)
The myth also doesn’t apply to North Korea, one of George Bush’s Axis of Evil countries. Kim Jung Il worked very hard to attain nuclear capability after all of the bellicose U.S. rhetoric, and once they did…the war-rhetoric stopped. That’s the lesson of nuclear weapons Iran has probably learned from. The U.S. doesn’t make war with nations that a nuclear capable.
That said, Iran’s current strategy, according to Flynt Leverett is “to create perceptions on the part of potential adversaries that Tehran is capable of building nuclear weapons in a finite period of time, without actually building them.” A de facto deterrent, without breaking any rules and causing instability.
The United Arab Emirate is only hundreds of miles south of Iran. Just think of the violent reaction America’s political leaders would have if Iran, or some other fake rival (China?), placed thousands of bunker-buster bombs in Cuba with the explicit purpose of intimidating us with a unilateral strike. What would be the result?
As per some of the comments, see here: The Specs of U.S. Weapons Welfare.