22 April 2008

weiging in at 0 foreign policy inteligence....Hillary Clinton

From the campaign trail we get the following gem:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton warned Tehran on Tuesday that if she were president, the United States could "totally obliterate" Iran in retaliation for a nuclear strike against Israel.

On the day of a crucial vote in her nomination battle against fellow Democrat Barack Obama, the New York senator said she wanted to make clear to Tehran what she was prepared to do as president in hopes that this warning would deter any Iranian nuclear attack against the Jewish state.

"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran (if it attacks Israel)," Clinton said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."

"In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them," she said.

"That's a terrible thing to say but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic," Clinton said.

I've previoustly posted about the foolishness of attacking Iran, here. And why I don't think that it would be reasonable or necessary, here. So this one hits me like a brick in the face from the person who claimed she has the experience and knowlege to handle the "3 AM Phone call" (I'll not link to this because I don't want to promte the original and the array of satire is to large).

Regardless, certain presidential canidates don't appear to be reading my humble postings, so I'll instead burden all of you with a couple of quick facts that might show, once again, why the military is not likely the solution to the Iranian problem.

Population65,397,52127,499,63837,897,883 more people in Iran
Square KM1,648,000437,072Iran is 1,210,928 Square KM larger

There are more statistics but I think my point is fairly evident. If you think Iraq has been bad, imagine Iran with twice the people and about three times the land area.

Additionally we can feel fairly confident in the statements of former chairman of the joint chiefs Colin Powell when he says that we cannot sustain troop levels in Iraq.

The last argument to make is that Mrs. Clinton is not proposing to invade Iran, only to bomb it or use nuclear weapons. I'll leave the nuclear threat alone. I think there are a myrad or reasons not to. On the conventional side, bombing of Serbia was less than effective (Chapter 16 of "The Use of Force" by Art, Robert J and Waltz, Kenneth N.). Plus the Iranians have learned from Iraq's experience with building nuclear weapons. They have spread their facilities out and placed them deep underground. In all likelyhood the United States would stand a limited chance of dislodging the Iraq.

So in summary:
bombing Iran = unlikely to work
invading Iran = even less likely to work
5 years of threatening iran = no results yet
evidence that "obliterating Iran" won't work = pretty conclusive

1 comment:

Megan said...

I have recently become engaged with your blog and find it very interesting. I enjoy learning about the state of affairs through the perspectives of others. My question/comment to you would be; so what, then, do we do about Iran? Obviously Iran is un-threatened by the US according to comments from the foreign ministry today, calling a US invasion, "a new fiasco," which you also seem to agree with. Would getting out of Iraq now or working towards eventual success in Iraq be valid strategies? How will these compare to the economic pressures you previously mentioned? I would be very interested in hearing your perspective.