Thursday, November 3, 2011

The UK and U.S. drawing up plans to attack Iran

“Barack Obama and [British Prime Minster] David Cameron are preparing for war after reports that Iran now has enough enriched uranium for four nuclear weapons,” The Daily Mail in Britain reported.

British military officials believe the United States may decide to step up plans for targeted missile attacks against some key Iranian facilities, and the officials “say that if Washington presses ahead it will seek, and receive, U.K. military help for any mission,” according to The Guardian in Britain.

The stepped-up planning for a strike comes in advance of a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) next week that could be a “game changer” regarding Iran’s nuclear program, the Guardian reported.

via Ed Morrissey at
There are also plenty of rumors that Israel might attack Iran unilaterally — which would perhaps save the US and UK from diplomatic and military backlash — but Barry Rubin scotches that idea:
"First, Israel has decided not to attack Iran–a point I’m making due both to direct knowledge and direct statements, a few of them made publicly, by those involved in the debate. The reasons for this decision make sense but I won’t list them here to save your time.

Second, there is no new development to prompt such an attack. On the contrary, all of the reports have been about the slow pace of Iranian progress toward obtaining deliverable nuclear weapons. There is no urgency in such an operation.

Third, all the reasons for not attacking Iran (okay, I’m changing my mind a bit from point one), are stronger than ever. Israel can expect little international support, the moves toward radicalism in Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, and Turkey (plus a heightened risk-taking by a shaky Syrian regime) make the environment for such an attack far more dangerous for Israel than a year or two ago. And again there is no vital incentive for launching such an attack.

Fourth, the Jerusalem Post article doesn’t even say that Israel is thinking of attacking Iran but only that there is a plan and that practicing is going on by the Israeli military. I should hope so but that proves nothing about an imminent attack. The Haaretz article says that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has asked the cabinet to make such an attack. If that’s true there’d be a lot more leaks and since Netanyahu not so long ago persuaded the cabinet not to do it that also sounds doubtful. But again, even if true that wouldn’t be an imminent attack but a start for a new round of debate."
Jeff Dunetz does the same:
"If Israel is good at anything, its good at keeping secrets. In fact the country gets falsely accused of some sort of covert military action, Israel’s government will refuse to confirm or deny the accusations even if they are false.

It has been my experience that if you hear a rumor about an upcoming Israeli action, it is probably fake. These rumors stem from the press interpreting statements from Israeli government officials as “hints” that they were working on an attack. Now if Israel was going to launch a very difficult military operation that would, at best damage but not destroy the Iranian nuke program and at worst begin a war with a very strong Iranian military, history and logic would indicate that the last thing they would do would be to drop hints that Iran should sharpen its anti-aircraft skills because an attack was coming. …"