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I doubt they'd support an Israeli nuclear campaign vs. Iran

Reader comment on item: A Military Strike on Iran's Nuclear Infrastructure?

Submitted by John in Michigan, USA (United States), Jun 21, 2010 at 00:10

Dr. Pipes strikes just the right note re the alleged Saudi green light -- "Interesting if true".

It seems to me that the alleged green light (and the limited popular support in the region) for Israeli action would only apply to an Israeli action involving conventional forces. There is no reason to believe that any of this would apply to the use of an Israeli nuke (for example a submarine-launched, bunker buster or EMP weapon, as has been indirectly hinted at by Dr. Pipes).

When it comes to military action vs. the Iranian nuclear program, whatever Israel does, and whatever the US does, must, it seems to me, be premised on the idea that it will be necessary to do it more than once over the coming years. No one action, or even a campaign sustained over several weeks, will guarantee an end to the Iranian nuclear threat. Each action, or campaign, will have to be followed by a waiting period in order to assess the results on the ground, the Iranian change of heart (or lack thereof), not to mention the international climate.

The effort would likely evolve into an ongoing series of suppressive ("spoiling") raids, rather than a single decisive blow; it will likely resemble the periodic raids against Gaza rocket-launching cells, rather than the more decisive Osirak (1981) and Syria (2007) raids.

A preventative Israeli nuclear response that fails, or that succeeds but results in unsustainable backlash against Israel, would make it very, very difficult for Israel to follow up when (not if) Iran decides to restart (or rebuild) its nuclear program. This is yet another in a long list of reasons why a preventative Israeli nuclear response is not a realistic option for Israel.

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