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Bomb Iran to Encourage International Diplomacy?

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In a new explanation for attacking Iran, Shmuel Rosner reports that some Israeli officials consider that an Israeli attack may not achieve its military objectives, but will ‘stir the pot’ enough to awaken the international community.

According to this line of thinking, which has adherents among some high-ranking officials and former officials in the Israeli defense establishment, focusing on the tactical questions surrounding such an operation–how much of Iran’s nuclear program can Israel destroy? how many years can a bombing campaign set the program back?–is a mistake. The main goal of a hit would not be to destroy the program completely, but rather to awaken the international community from its slumber and force it to finally engineer a solution to the crisis. As one former Israeli official put it, any attack on Iran’s reactors–as long as it is not perceived as a military failure–can serve as a means of “stirring the pot” of international geopolitics. Israel, in other words, wouldn’t be resorting to military action because it is convinced that diplomacy by the international community cannot stop Iran; it would be resorting to military action because only diplomacy by the international community can stop Iran.

Very few Israeli officials will discuss the matter in detail, but some are willing to explain the basic logic behind this thinking. (For most of them, it is one reason among many why they think an attack could be a good idea.) Bombing Iran would be “one way to reverse the trend of inaction,” says a knowledgeable Israeli official, “and, as time goes by without anyone else willing to force the international community into meaningful action, Israel will have to consider if it’s willing to take the risk and do it.”

Irancove @ July 16, 2008

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