US Attack Could Only Set Iran’s Nuclear Program Back Slightly

And then, the attack alone will have made Iran determined to have a nuclear deterrent

by John Glaser, January 16, 2013

A US military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would not be a quick and easy process, but a long and drawn out campaign that would only end up setting back Tehran’s program by a few years, according to retired US Admiral William Fallon.

Fallon spoke to the American Security Project, a research institute, and echoed warnings that the military and intelligence community has been making for a long time.

“If the US were to put a full-fledged strike campaign in there, that would probably take several weeks, it could put this program back for several years,” Fallon told the American Security Project, AFP reported.

Fallon formerly headed US Central Command. Last year he and many others signed a report calling on the US government to do everything to avoid engaging Iran militarily.

The report by former government officials, national security experts and retired military officers concluded “achieving more than a temporary setback in Iran’s nuclear program would require a military operation – including a land occupation – more taxing than the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.” More taxing, not just in dollar amounts and military resources, but in lives lost.

Furthermore, US intelligence has concluded that Iran doesn’t currently have a nuclear weapons program. So military action would not only be taxing – it would be a war crime, since Iran poses no imminent threat to the US (or Israel).

And even if such a strike succeeded it setting back Iran’s program, the attack itself would probably have succeeded in motivating the Iranian government to actually start developing weapons, having confirmed that they need them for deterrence.

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