President of Prominent Conservative Think-Tank Urges Military Strike on Iran

Herbert London, the president of the conservative Hudson Institute, has published a commentary urging the Bush administration to use “an American military strike to knock out Iran’s uranium processing capacity”:

Any way you cut it, military force seems like the most likely stratagem for success. Will Bush do it? He cannot afford not to do it. His legacy cannot be a nuclear Iran prepared to destabilize all of the Middle East and possibly Europe. This is yet another test of American will.

Unfortunately for people like London, who are always thinking up new ways for U.S. soldiers to be sent into harm’s way, there is wide agreement among U.S. military analysts and Iran experts that no good military options exist for Iran:

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Sam Gardiner, a simulations expert from the U.S. Army’s National War College, after leading a “war game” on Iran:

After all this effort, I am left with two simple sentences for policymakers. You have no military solution for the issues of Iran. And you have to make diplomacy work. [Atlantic Monthly, 12/04]

IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei:

I don’t believe there is a military solution to the issue. I think that a military solution would be completely counterproductive. [AFP, 12/9/05]

Council on Foreign Relations Iran specialist Ray Takeyh:

It appears that a clever mixture of incentives and penalties can accomplish more in counterproliferation than can warnings and coercion. The Bush administration must accept that its doctrine of military pre-emption and its threats of Security Council referrals have a limited use in altering Iran’s path. [Baltimore Sun, 12/29/05]

Former Bush State Department policy director Richard Haass:

So far, the Bush administration has shown it would like to resolve its problems with North Korea and Iran the same way it did with Iraq: through regime change. It is easy to see why. But the strategy is unlikely to work, at least not quickly enough. [Foreign Affairs, 8/05]

To no one’s surprise, London was also a cheerleader for the Iraq war: “If a constitutional architecture can be constructed in Iraq, can Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, be far behind?”