Trump and conflict with Iran

2019-05-14

in Bombs and rockets, Politics, Security

This week’s Economist is reporting about the growing danger of armed conflict between the United States and Iran:

President Donald Trump’s fixation with undoing “Barack Obama’s signature diplomatic achievement” in the form of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal was worrisome and counterproductive enough, in a world where nuclear weapon proliferation is a growing threat and where proliferation in the Middle East is especially likely if any new nuclear weapon powers emerge.

It’s terrifying to think what a new profusion of nuclear powers in the region could mean. Among other things, I think it would greatly increase the risk of accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons. There were enough US-Soviet close calls in the Cold War, and that was two powers that were far apart, in communication, and well-informed about each other’s capabilities. A nuclear crisis among a larger set of tightly-packed states is a truly fearful prospect.

A conventional American or Israeli attack on Iran is also a fearful prospect, and one that seems almost certain to be less effective at curtailing Iranian nuclear ambitions in the medium term than multilateral diplomacy. Again Trump’s recklessness and the incompetence and ideological drive of his officials like John Bolton is threatening the peace of the world, such as it is holding up these days.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

. May 14, 2019 at 7:36 pm
. May 14, 2019 at 7:38 pm

Trump Is Building Toward War While Alienating All Our Allies
The rising tensions with Iran are getting very alarming.

. May 17, 2019 at 3:34 pm

Israel and Saudi Arabia: What’s shaping the covert ‘alliance’ – BBC News

Saudi Arabia pledges to create a nuclear bomb if Iran does – BBC News

In an interview con­ducted on the day he was sworn into office, Netan­yahu warned that, “You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the entire world should start worrying, and that is what is happening in Iran.”[3]

An Israeli Preventive Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Sites: Implications for the U.S. | The Heritage Foundation

https://www.heritage.org/middle-east/report/israeli-preventive-attack-irans-nuclear-sites-implications-the-us

. May 17, 2019 at 3:35 pm
. May 17, 2019 at 3:39 pm

PREVENTIVE ATTACKS AGAINST NUCLEAR PROGRAMS AND THE ‘‘SUCCESS’’ AT OSIRAQ
Dan Reiter

Advocates of the preventive use of force against emerging nuclear, biological, or chemical
programs often look to the allegedly successful 1981 Israeli airstrike against Iraqi nuclear facilities
at Osiraq. According to the conventional wisdom, this attack may have prevented Iraq from going
nuclear before Operation Desert Storm in 1991. This article assesses the claim that the 1981 attack
substantially delayed Iraqi acquisition of nuclear weapons, both by revisiting older debates and by
introducing new evidence from Iraqi scientists. The article casts doubt on the conclusion that the
attack was successful for three reasons: (1) the reactor itself was not well equipped to generate
plutonium for a nuclear weapon; (2) illegal plutonium production would likely have caused a
cutoff in the supply of nuclear fuel and an end to weapons activities; and (3) the attack may have
actually increased Saddam’s commitment to acquiring weapons. These conclusions have
implications for the Bush Doctrine, as the lack of suc

anon May 17, 2019 at 3:56 pm

As people have been saying all along Trump might want to start a war purely as a distraction from domestic troubles and as a way to further seize unconstitutional power.

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