An article by Tom Vanden Brook, which appeared in USA TODAY on August 24, discusses a possible attack on Iran to destroy nuclear facilities. The article quotes expert opinion that such an attack might set Iran’s nuclear bomb project back two years if it has one.
“A strike would try to reduce as much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure as possible, recognizing it wouldn’t be perfect or permanently eliminate it,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow and military expert at the Brookings Institution.
An air war such as that, with as many as 1,000 aircraft sorties over several days to a week, would likely destroy power plants and other infrastructure associated with Iran’s nuclear facilities, O’Hanlon said. He estimates that would set back Iran’s nuclear program, which it maintains are for peaceful purposes, from one to five years.
The confident prediction of less than one week of war reflects the foolish optimism of Donald Rumsfeld prior to the Second Iraq war. The lack of consideration of possible resistance, the lack of an exit strategy, prolonged that effort to this day leading not to success but disaster. Tom Vanden Brook’s article doesn’t mention an exit strategy in connection with Iran war plans, nor does it meaningfully consider what Iran might do to turn this war into another quagmire. We seem poised to repeat previous mistakes.