The United States is for the first time actually preparing extensive war plans against an air attack of Iranian nuclear facilities. According to Time:
Other intelligence sources say that the U.S. Army’s Central Command, which is in charge of organizing military operations in the Middle East, has made some real progress in planning targeted air strikes — aided, in large part, by the vastly improved human-intelligence operations in the region. “There really wasn’t a military option a year ago,” an Israeli military source told me. “But they’ve gotten serious about the planning, and the option is real now.” Israel has been brought into the planning process, I’m told, because U.S. officials are frightened by the possibility that the right-wing Netanyahu government might go rogue and try to whack the Iranians on its own.
This may not placate the Israelis. The Israeli government under the far-right, Likud-led coalition is determined that Iran be prohibited from acquiring even nuclear capability. And the Israelis are very skeptical and wary about Obama and his previous (and half-hearted) outreach to the Iranians and many feel that he is ‘not up to the job’ and has simply made peace with the idea of a nuclear-capable or armed Iran and settled for a policy of containment until the regime collapses. The Israelis are not so relaxed. Most Israelis view Iran as an existential threat – a new Hilter-esque regime bent on massacring 6million Jews – and as such Iran must be prohibited to acquire nuclear weapons at all costs. Thus this welcoming of Israelis into U.S. war planning meetings may be views skeptically by Israel as in effort to falsely reassure them and prevent them from taking independent action all teh while not actually doing anything to stop Iran.
Israel may not be reasssured of American war plans and the increasing belief is that Tel Aviv will launch its own strike:
“We should not allow irrational regimes like Iran to have nuclear weapons,” [Israeli prime minister] Netanyahu said.
Although Netanyahu declined to outline a specific plan of action or a deadline, he reiterated his country’s willingness to use force to stop Tehran from developing its nuclear capabilities, which Iran insists are for peaceful purposes.
“There’s only been one time that Iran actually stopped the [nuclear] program, and that was when it feared U.S. military action,” the prime minister said.
What will be the consequences?:
But according to the paper released Thursday, the consequences of such a military action against Iran “are so serious that they should not be encouraged in any shape or form.” […]
The paper, titled “Military Action Against Iran: Impact and Effects,” was released Thursday following ominous statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the Fox News channel in which he called Iran “the ultimate terrorist threat today.” […]
Israeli strike aircraft cross into Iranian airspace and hit the nuclear facilities at Natanz, Esfahan and Qom, as well as the laboratories of the University of Tehran, killing one of Iran’s leading nuclear scientists along with dozens of researchers and a janitor.
Iran retaliates by hitting Tel Aviv with long-range missiles and fanning the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, engulfing the Middle East in a protracted regional war and triggering a global economic crisis over oil prices.
This terrifying outcome is increasingly likely if Israel carries out a reportedly impending military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, according to a new study by the Oxford Research Group, a leading security think tank. […]
The report predicts such an attack would have the exact opposite of the desired effect by uniting Iranians against a common enemy, thus bolstering Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s hard-line regime, which would retaliate against Israeli and U.S. interests in the region.
The report points to Israel’s recently improved strike capabilities and the bellicose rhetoric of its politicians and concludes that the Jewish state is preparing to take out not only known Iranian nuclear facilities but also factories, research centers, and university laboratories with the intention of destroying Iran’s technical capabilities and killing its leading technocrats.
Iran would likely respond by attacking Israel directly, withdrawing from negotiations over its nuclear program, supporting insurgent activity against Western interests in Iraq and Afghanistan, and facilitating attacks against Western oil facilities in the Persian gulf.
“There would be many civilian casualties, both directly among people working on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, but also their families as their living quarters were hit, and secretaries, cleaners, labourers and other staff in factories, research stations and university departments,” says the report, which was authored by Paul Rogers of the University of Bradford.
“An Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would almost certainly be the beginning of a long-term process of regular Israeli airstrikes to further prevent the development of nuclear weapons and medium-range missiles,” it continues. “Iranian responses would also be long-term, ushering in a lengthy war with global as well as regional implications.”
The ultimate loser in all this would, no doubt, Israel which will finally cross the last step of the Rubicon and fail to ever secure itself in the region.