Joseph Cirincione is a respected non-proliferation expert at the Carnegie Endowment, one who admits he “was the last remaining person in Washington who believed President George W. Bush when he said that he was committed to a diplomatic solution.” Yet, in a new column for Foreign Policy magazine, he says he now believes that senior U.S. officials have already made up their minds to attack Iran:
For months, I have told interviewers that no senior political or military official was seriously considering a military attack on Iran. In the last few weeks, I have changed my view. In part, this shift was triggered by colleagues with close ties to the Pentagon and the executive branch who have convinced me that some senior officials have already made up their minds: They want to hit Iran. … What I previously dismissed as posturing, I now believe may be a coordinated campaign to prepare for a military strike on Iran.
The ramifications of such an attack could be disastrous. At a minimum, it would likely “rally the Iranian public around an otherwise unpopular regime, inflame anti-American anger around the Muslim world, and jeopardize the already fragile U.S. position in Iraq.” But most importantly, a military strike would “almost certainly speed…up” Iran’s nuclear weapons development by sparking a “crash nuclear program that could produce a bomb in a few years.”