Former top U.S. military official warns Iran attack would require occupation lasting decades

Think Progress: Former Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Cartwright today said that military strikes on Iran would not completely end its nuclear program.

Appearing at a conference of the Center for Strategic and International Studies titled “Dealing with a Nuclear Iran,” Cartwright laid out what he saw as the difficulties inherent in launching a military strike on Iran’s nuclear program. Topping the former General’s list: the inability of any attack to wipe out the intellectual capital developed by Iran during its research.

An attack on Iran then would be one of delay, according to Cartwright, rather than denying Iran the ability to conduct further uranium enrichment. “You will not kill all of the intellectual capital,” Cartwright said, indicating that would take “tens of years” of occupation if that was the goal of a military strike. “If we want somebody to ‘uninvent’ [knowledge], that’s pretty unrealistic,” Cartwright said. [Continue reading…]

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