Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Sunday, February 12, 2006

U.S. Gears Up for Iran Strike?

John Stephenson at Stop the ACLU sends along this link to a story in a British paper which claims the Pentagon is making plans for bombing strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities.

My first thought, on seeing John's headline, was "wait a minute, we don't have have plans already? What on earth are we paying these people for?" As a practical matter, I expect the Pentagon to have contingency plans for all kinds of ridiculous crap (e.g. submarine strikes against Madagascar) -- strikes against openly hostile nations who publicly announce progress on nuclear programs should be a gimme. But the article explains away some of my concern:

"Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran’s nuclear sites as a 'last resort' to block Teheran’s efforts to develop an atomic bomb.
"'This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment,' said a senior Pentagon adviser. 'This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months.'"

Well, that's at once comforting and highly unnerving. Comforting, in that at least the Pentagon isn't just now getting around to planning military strikes against Iran, but unnerving because the plans may very well become necessary.

My only other concern is: what is this story doing in a British paper? Best I can come up with is that it's a calculated leak, in the hopes that Iran will see we're serious and stand down. That would be nice, but Ahmadinejad sure seems to enjoy his "death to Israel" speeches these days.