Wednesday, January 4, 2012

U.S Would Regret Conflict with Iran

The letter to the editor by Major General Laich that follows was published in the January 3, 2012 edition of the Columbus Dispatch.
I was alarmed by last Tuesday’s letter “U.S. need not fear Iranian threat to Israel” from Austin Reid. It reminded me of the assurances given to the American people prior to the U.S. Invasion of Iraq that the war would be brief, we would be greeted as liberators and Iraqi oil would pay for the war. $2 trillion and 4,400 American lives later we know that this was magical thinking and that the enemy has a vote.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, a realist not enrolled in the magical-thinking school, said earlier this month that an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities could “consume the Middle East in a confrontation and a conflict that we would regret.”
Reid wrote that “in the aftermath of an Israeli attack, Iran more than likely would respond as did Iraq and Syria and not retaliate” if Israel attacked its nuclear sites. Panetta, a host of national security experts and I disagree.
The conflict that would result would draw in the United States, based on its treaties with Israel; raise oil prices, leading to a double-dip U.S. recession; and unleash terrorist attacks by Iran’s proxies against U.S. targets worldwide, to include the U.S. homeland.
Unlike the Iraqi and Syrian targets Reid refers to having been successfully engaged by Israel in the past, the Iranian nuclear sites are dispersed, dug in and protected by anti-aircraft defenses, thus making an equally successful attack far less likely. Additionally, Israel would have to secure the permission of the Iraqi government to overfly its airspace or violate the airspace and Iraq’s sovereignty, which the United States is committed to protect.
Reid has his history correct, but the military and national security references he draws from it reflect magical thinking.

1 comment:

  1. Maj. Gen. Laich, Greetings. I came to your blog to see if you had posted any comments on the current situation taking place in Syria. According to SecDef Panetta, things there are, "spinning out of control," and the big concern is whether or not president Assad will step down or if he will use chemical weapons as a last stand. It is said that Syria does in fact have a large cache of CW. Just wondered if you had taken a position on the current events there. JLE