With prospects of igniting a regional war, some leading lights in the Israeli security establishment suggest a more careful approach. Yet, Israel perceives Iran as a rational actor that is likely to change its course only if faced by clear threat of use of force and effective international pressure. Recent US leaks about possible Israeli operational planning only heighten Israeli concerns.
A ground invasion is impossible. But Israel lacks the long-range assets unilaterally to neutralise a dispersed Iranian nuclear capability, whereas a large US co-ordinated air campaign against Iranian nuclear weapon facilities is eminently feasible. Nevertheless the effectiveness and fallout from such a campaign remains in doubt.
In pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, Iran is acting rationally and in accordance with its past actions and strategic interests. Nevertheless, this does not mean at a nuclear-armed, or nuclear-capable Iran can be deterred or contained, at least not with traditional deterrence policies. A nuclear Iran means a multi-polar Middle East. And that, in turn, means a multi-polar, or multi-tiered...
What should be made of the recent spate of helicopter losses in Iraq? Are they a series of unfortunate coincidences, an indication of poor practice in coalition activities or the result of enhanced insurgent operations?