The Costs of Containing Iran
The price is high.
10:27 AM, May 3, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
At National Review Online, Michael Anton has the definitive analysis of the costs of containing Iran. There is, of course, much debate concerning what to do about Iran and the regime's pursuit of nuclear weapons. The policy proposals most frequently debated by wonks are: (1) sanctions, (2) military strikes, (3) working with, or at least supporting, the Iranian people in their efforts to overthrow the regime, (4) containment, and (5) do nothing. These are not mutually exclusive options, of course, but each comes with its own primary tactic and should come with a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.
The simple fact of the matter is that the Iranians kill Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, primarily through their proxies, with impunity. They do this at a time when America's combined force commitments to both countries are still great - and far greater than they will be in the coming months if drawdown plans currently on the table are executed. Yet, the Iranian regime is not "contained" now, even without a nuclear bomb.
Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.