Thursday, January 12, 2006

UPI: Iran -- What If?

First, given the complexity of such an undertaking -- given that, according to Iranian dissident sources, there are anywhere between 200 and 300 possible sites -- the scope of the military operation would have to be formidable. It would require top-notch intelligence to identify and strike only at relevant sites. Assuming that 200 sites are targeted, such a military operation would require at least 600 airplanes, again assuming that only three planes were assigned to hit each facility.

The attack planes would have to include bombers, escort fighters, refueling planes and command-and-control aircrafts... [I]f Israel were to go at alone, it would have to commit almost its entire air force....

What about the longer-term consequences?

First, any attack on Iranian soil will ignite Iranian national pride and unite all Iranians around the government, strengthening the ayatollahs' hold on power. In other words, it would be strongly counterproductive.

Second, it would not necessarily terminate Iran's nuclear project. Iran could just as easily regroup and rebuild. Tehran has scattered the project to enough different locations that some of it is bound to survive the initial raids, as will their scientists who will resume their plans with renewed vigor.

Third, the effect on the price of oil on world markets is bound to reach new heights as Iran's production would be undoubtedly disrupted, either voluntarily -- (an Iranian boycott) or involuntarily (accidental hit on refineries, oil installations, etc.)




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