Steven Simon and Ray Takeyh present a Goldilocks approach to war against Iran: not too much, not too little but war cooked just right. Who knew war could be modulated so carefully?
As it contemplated the use of force, the administration’s decision-making would be further complicated by the need for a plan to unwind military hostilities and make sure a confrontation did not escalate out of control. The White House would have to signal to Tehran that the U.S. military objective was not to overthrow the clerical regime but to enforce the will of the international community by disabling Iran’s nuclear program. The message would need to make clear that for the United States, hostilities would end with the destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but that if Iran retaliated, Washington would press its attacks until Tehran could no longer respond. A sobering thought not just for the mullahs, but also for a U.S. administration that would have to carry out the threat.