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ME Tour d'Horizon

Reader comment on item: Middle East Provocations and Predictions

Submitted by Richard Hobbs (United States), Sep 12, 2015 at 15:54

Daniel –

Excellent tour d'horizon of the ME.

I do not fully agree about the Israeli capability to take out the Iran nuke capability. It is an enormous undertaking – not the one target case as in Iraq and Syria. There are many installations and they are located from the Gulf to under the mountain at Qom to way to the East on the Afghan border – quite a long distance; and perhaps some more that we do not know about. Iran has fairly sophisticated defense capabilities so you do not just fly in and drop a bomb. You would have to attack the early warning radars, the command and control centers, and the air defense weapons sites plus the Iranian Air Force; this is a long and tedious process, requires many sorties, and would result in large casualties, including civilians. Aircraft cannot make these raids without refueling which would require aerial refueling [probably require Saudi clearance to fly through their air space and orbit tankers over Saudi or the Gulf] (or perhaps that talk about landing rights in Azerbaijan). This would be an enormous undertaking even for the US Air Force – with no certainty of success. The Israeli Air Force cannot handle it and they know it.

Any such attack would only delay any Iranian nuclear program for perhaps 1-2 years at most and would have the downside of uniting the Iranian people behind the mullahs (Mother Iran) and bring down the wrath of the world on the attacker. Even if the US took no part, we would still be accused of encouraging and supporting such an operation and suffer the same opprobrium.

It sounds easy but it is not.

Again – great summary.

All the best.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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