Why Not Just Bomb the Qom Facility?

By MichaelJames

Sep 26, 2009 8:49am

Beyond the obvious conflagration of war that bombing the nuclear facility at Qom would likely ignite, senior administration officials are saying military action could be counterproductive in two other ways.

One: The goal of the U.S. government is not to close this one facility at Qom, but rather to convince the Iranian government to end their nuclear weapons ambitions writ large.

Second: Bombing the facility might only make the Iranians more determined, whereas if Western intelligence agencies catch them violating their agreements every time they cheat — and this is the third time since 2002 — the Iranians may conclude, ultimately, that any aspirations for a nuclear weapon are futile.

We took a look at this issue and others on World News last night:

- jpt

UPDATE: My friend Olivier Knox of AFP reminds me that in May, former Bush State Department official Nicholas Burns testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about Iran, and said: "Some continue to argue that the only way to halt Iran’s accelerating nuclear research effort is through American or Israeli air strikes. But, there is no convincing scenario where such use of military force would work effectively to end the Iranian nuclear program. Even worse, air strikes would undoubtedly lead Iran to hit back asymmetrically against us in Iraq, Afghanistan and the wider region, especially through its proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas. This reminds us of Churchill’s maxim that, once a war starts, it is impossible to know how it will end. An America that is already waging two difficult and bloody wars should be wary of unleashing a third. Choosing military power at this stage would surely be precipitous and unwise."

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly took an interesting in-depth look on military options last month; check it out HERE.

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