Iranian Threat: Mortal or Deterrable?

Numerous essays have been written in recent months taking up positions on whether or not the United States should use military force against Iran in an attempt to forestall its nuclear program.  Foreign Affairs offers an excellent debate on the subject that iss highlighted by contending essays from Matthew Kroenig and Colin Kahl, taking the pro- and anti-bombing positions, respectively.  Perhaps the silliest offering in this ongoing discussion though was an op-ed in last Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal by Mark Helprin that is filled with contradictions and paints an exceedingly cartoonish picture of Iran.

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Mr. Helprin, a . . .
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The Historical Uncertainty of Middle Eastern Nuclear Proliferation

There seems to be one area of agreement between hawks and doves on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program:  the veritable certainty of a nuclear proliferation “casacade” in the Middle East whereby Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and others respond to an Iranian nuclear weapon with nuclear programs of their own.  Fears of that scenario were understandably raised recently when Prince Turki al-Faisal, a member of the royal family and former head of Saudi intelligence, explicitly stated that the Kingdom would consider pursuing its own nuclear capability were Tehran to obtain a nuclear weapon of its own.  Max Boot cited . . .
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Five Meaningless Steps That Will Effect Nothing in Syria

About a year ago, my good friend and colleague Hans-Inge Longo told me about the “Overnight Brief”—a summary of each day’s foreign policy news delivered each morning via email—from the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI).  My initial reaction was “FPI? Bill Kristol’s group??”  Despite my visceral opposition to all things neoconservative, FPI offers a summary of the important news stories that is beyond useful for a foreign policy nerd like myself.  If anything, the “brief” is almost too thorough in summarizing the day’s news from various regions and on a variety of issues.  The only real downside to receiving the . . .
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National Military Strategy: A grand scheme

For the first time in seven years the Pentagon has done a top-to-bottom review of its national military strategy. The 21-page document, called “The National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2011: Redefining America’s Military Leadership,” is the product of a realization that times have changed. While the strategy review stresses the importance of combating terrorism and preventing the spread of WMDs, new threats are on the horizon.

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It is hardly surprising that an official strategy document from the Pentagon warns of new threats. Part of the military’s role is, after all, to . . .
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