Military Action Might Be the Only Way to Stop Iran from Getting Nuclear Weapons

After North Korea’s missile test last week, it now seems likely that Pyongyang is capable of successfully firing a nuclear-armed ballistic missile at the continental U.S. From this development, Evelyn Gordon draws some conclusions about Iran:

North Korea has proved, if anyone still had any doubts, that sanctions and negotiations alone can’t stop a determined dictator from acquiring nukes. By contrast, the jury’s still out on military action. It has only been tried twice, both times by Israel: in Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007. And it’s still too soon to say conclusively that it worked. But at least so far, neither country has nuclear weapons.

Moreover, many of the arguments against military action are fatuous. Take, for instance, . . . the argument that military action does nothing but buy time. That’s far from self-evident. Some countries might conclude that the effort of rebuilding their nuclear program only to be bombed again isn’t worth it. But even assuming otherwise, buying time has also proved to be the most that, for their part, sanctions and negotiations can achieve. . . .

There is, of course, one serious reason for avoiding military action: fear of painful retaliation. . . . Low-cost military action was eminently feasible when Iran’s illicit nuclear program was discovered fifteen years ago. Unfortunately, that’s no longer true (which is a damning indictment of three successive Israeli governments). Eleven years ago, when Israel fought a month-long war with Tehran’s Lebanese proxy, Hizballah fired around 4,000 rockets and killed 163 Israelis. Today, Hizballah has upward of 150,000 rockets, including many with longer ranges, heavier warheads, and greater accuracy. Moreover, back then, Syria had no interest in joining the war, whereas today it might have little choice. . . .

Thus, preparing a military option on Iran starts with taking steps to make this option less dangerous, and therefore more feasible. Those preparations must start with making serious efforts to push Iran out of Syria, curb Iran’s conventional-missile program, and persuade Europe to . . . outlaw Hizballah (rather than only its “military wing,” as if this were somehow distinct from its political wing). Most likely, any military action will end up being Israeli rather than American. . . . But America must begin working now to make Israeli military action feasible at a reasonable cost. For as the North Korean failure shows, only military action is likely to stop Tehran from following in Pyongyang’s footsteps.

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Read more at Evelyn Gordon

More about: Hizballah, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, North Korea, Nuclear proliferation, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy

 

Terror Returns to Israel

Nov. 28 2022

On Wednesday, a double bombing in Jerusalem left two dead, and many others injured—an attack the likes of which has not been seen since 2016. In a Jenin hospital, meanwhile, armed Palestinians removed an Israeli who had been injured in a car accident, reportedly murdering him in the process, and held his body hostage for two days. All this comes as a year that has seen numerous stabbings, shootings, and other terrorist attacks is drawing to a close. Yaakov Lappin comments:

Unlike the individual or small groups of terrorists who, acting on radical ideology and incitement to violence, picked up a gun, a knife, or embarked on a car-ramming attack, this time a better organized terrorist cell detonated two bombs—apparently by remote control—at bus stops in the capital. Police and the Shin Bet have exhausted their immediate physical searches, and the hunt for the perpetrators will now move to the intelligence front.

It is too soon to know who, or which organization, conducted the attack, but it is possible to note that in recent years, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has taken a lead in remote-control-bombing terrorism. Last week, a car bomb that likely contained explosives detonated by remote control was discovered by the Israel Defense Forces in Samaria, after it caught fire prematurely. In August 2019, a PFLP cell detonated a remote-control bomb in Dolev, seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, killing a seventeen-year-old Israeli girl and seriously wounding her father and brother. Members of that terror cell were later arrested.

With the Palestinian Authority (PA) losing its grip in parts of Samaria to armed terror gangs, and the image of the PA at an all-time low among Palestinians, in no small part due to corruption, nepotism, and its violation of human rights . . . the current situation does not look promising.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror