Scowcroft, Brzezinski call for clear thinking on military action on Iran

National Security Network reports: Today a senior group of bipartisan security experts at the highest levels – retired Cabinet secretaries, diplomats, military leaders and intelligence specialists – released a comprehensive study on the potential costs and benefits of a military strike on Iran. The group issues a sober warning that “a foundation for clear thinking about the potential use of force against Iran” is lacking in the public discussion to date. Signatories include Brent Scowcroft, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Richard L. Armitage, Col. Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Chuck Hagel, Gen .Anthony C. Zinni, Leslie H. Gelb, Lee H. Hamilton, Ellen Laipson, Adm. William Fallon, Amb. Thomas R. Pickering, Amb. William Luers, and others. Other analysts have recently sounded the same alarm. While the Iran Project report explicitly does not make policy recommendations, CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman concludes in his recent study, “The best way out is successful negotiations.”

A military strike likely to delay, not prevent a weapon – while also increasing Iran’s motivation to attain a bomb. The Iran Project report finds, “U.S. policy statements indicate that the objective of military action against Iran would be to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. … a military action involving aerial strikes, cyber attacks, covert operations, and special operations forces would destroy or severely damage many of Iran’s physical facilities and stockpiles. But in our judgment, complete destruction of Iran’s nuclear program is unlikely; and Iran would still retain the scientific capacity and the experience to start its nuclear program again if it chose to do so.” The group echoes conclusions of Israeli and U.S. intelligence by concluding, “We believe that extended military strikes by the U.S. alone or in concert with Israel could delay Iran’s ability to build a bomb by up to four years—if the military operation is carried out to near perfection, with all aircraft, missiles, and bombs working to maximum effect. A military strike by Israel alone, with its more limited military capacity, could delay Iran’s ability to build a bomb for up to two years. The distinction between preventing and delaying Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon would be a critical one, when considering the objectives of war.”

The Iran Project signatories add, “we believe that military action probably would reduce the possibility of reaching a more permanent political resolution of concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. In fact, we believe that a U.S. attack on Iran would increase Iran’s motivation to build a bomb, because 1) the Iranian leadership would become more convinced than ever that regime change is the goal of U.S. policy, and 2) building a bomb would be seen as a way to inhibit future attacks and redress the humiliation of being attacked.” [Continue reading...]

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Comments

  1. Upon his election, Obama paid absolutely no heed to excellent advice from Scowcroft and Brzezinski on solving the I-P conflict, why would he listen to them now?