Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN last night that neither he, nor the Iranians, would consider an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities an act of war.
Rogers said that he believed there are options “short of war” that could prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and, strangely, CNN host Erin Burnett wondered if bombing suspected nuclear weapons facilities would be an option that is “short of war.” While Rogers at first appeared taken aback by Burnett’s odd question, he then went a bit further, saying definitively that such an attack would indeed be “short of war” and the Iranians would see it that way too:
BURNETT: Do you think that bombing those key facilities, whether it’s Parchin or Fordow, is that short of war, in your opinion, or would that actually spark a war? If we use one of those, you know, massive ordinance, penetrators, 30,000 ton bombs that could actually penetrate deep under the ground, where as you say they have been placing some of their facilities?
ROGERS: Well, again, I would be cautious of — short of war. I will say that —
BURNETT: So that’s not — that would be war. OK.
ROGERS: Well, in very targeted strikes, we use very targeted strikes against al Qaeda. And so if it is a very targeted strike, many would argue that that’s short of war. And if it only seeks to go after their nuclear program, that is — we’re not talking about invasions or naval engagements or troops on the ground, none of that. And this has been used by other — President Clinton used this tactic.
But there’s also other things under that. I’m not saying that’s — that is the right answer. That is an option that I believe is short of war if it is very selective, very targeted, only to the nuclear program. And we do know, those — that the Iranians believe that there is a whole panoply of options — war and then these targeted strikes they don’t see as — wouldn’t see as an act of war.
Watch the clip:
There’s really no question about this one. Attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities with missiles and/or bombs would be an act of war and the Iranians would most likely see it that way too.