Experts Say Iran Attack Is Irrational, Yet Hawks Are Winning the Debate [View all]
From the chairman of the Joint Chiefs to the head of Mossad, the experts are speaking out against attacking Iran over its nuclear program, but hawks like the GOP presidential candidates are drowning out the warnings.
by Peter Beinart Feb 21, 2012 4:45 AM EST
The debate over whether Israel should attack Iran rests on three basic questions. First, if Iran’s leaders got the bomb, would they use it or give it to people who might? Second, would a strike substantially retard Iran’s nuclear program? Third, if Israel attacks, what will Iran do in response?
Mideast Iran Nuclear
The vast majority of people opining on these questions—myself very much included—lack the expertise to answer. We’ve never directed a bombing campaign; we have no secret sources in Tehran; we don’t spend our days studying the Iranian regime. So essentially, we decide which experts to trust.
As it happens, both the American and Israeli governments boast military and intelligence agencies charged with answering exactly these sorts of questions. And with striking consistency, the people who run, or ran, those agencies are warning—loudly—against an attack.