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What to Do About Iran

6:54 PM, Dec 7, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Thomas Donnelly, Danielle Pletka, and Maseh Zarif of the American Enterprise Institute have an important (and timely!) report on Iran, titled "Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran: Questions for Strategy, Requirements for Military Forces."

"The report is very much an acknowledgment of the very real possibility of failure of the strategy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and any responsible party should recognize that failure is an option. There's been a huge disservice done by all who have spent their lives in denial of that possibility," Pletka reportedly told Josh Rogin. "Whenever you devise a strategy for what happens before a country gets a nuclear weapon, you should have a strategy for what happens after they get one as well."

The report concludes:

we find that though containment and deterrence are possible policies and strategies for the United States and others to adopt when faced with a nuclear Iran, we cannot share the widespread enthusiasm entertained in many quarters.

Indeed, the broad embrace of containment and deterrence appears to be based primarily on an unwillingness to analyze the risks and costs described. It may be the case that containing and deterring is the least-bad choice. However, that does not make it a low-risk or low-cost choice. In fact, it is about to be not a choice but a fact of life.

Whole thing here.

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