Top-level staffers in both the Bush-43 and Obama administrations have said that both Presidents are in agreement that Iran cannot be allowed to possess nuclear weapons. So, as diplomats assemble in Austria this week to continue going through the motions of negotiating an end to the Iranian effort to develop that capability, the underlying question looms larger with the passage of time. After the negotiations fail, as they most certainly will fail, and there is consensus among the experts that Iranian success is inevitable, as there is already, what will President Obama do to stop them?
Matthew Kroenig is associate professor of government at Georgetown University, and a former advisor on middle eastern policy in the offices of the Secretary of Defense. He is also the author of the just-released book A Time to Attack, which details the history of the Iranian nuclear program and explains why it’s termination is so vital to the west, and to the middle east as well.
To promote the release of his book, Kroenig has up an article at the online Spectator magazine, HERE, in which he states his belief that Obama will eventually bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities. The article is well worth reading, but I have my doubts as to Kroenig’s conclusion. I think that the end result of the negotiations will be, as another writer recently characterized it, that the Iranians will pretend to discontinue their nuclear weapons program, and Secretary of State John Kerry will pretend to believe them. What seems certain is that President Obama will take no action, nor aid the Israelis in taking action, until after the fall elections.
For a full hour after the start of the Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, the Japanese diplomats in Washington continued the pretense to US Secretary of State Cordell Hull that they were still engaged in efforts to forestall an armed conflict between the two nations. We can only hope that Israel does not experience a repeat of that scenario.