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En ny rapport viser at Bush-administrasjonen ikke har greid å hindre at Iran og Nord-Korea utvikler atomvåpen.

American intelligence officials and outside nuclear experts have concluded that the Bush administration’s diplomatic efforts with European and Asian allies have barely slowed the nuclear weapons programs in Iran and North Korea over the past year, and that both have made significant progress.

I Nord-Koreas tilfelle er man avhengig av samarbeid med nabolandene. Iran er det mest tricky tilfellet. Det kom som en total overraskelse da det viste seg at atomprogrammet var 18 år gammelt. USA brukte opp goodwill til å kjøre preventivt i forhold til Irak, og må nå handle sammen med de store europeiske landene, Kina og Russland.

Går det fort nok? Israel signaliserer at det ikke akter å sitte stille og se på at Iran får atomvåpen. Presteskapet er langt mer destruktivt og radikalt enn det europeerne liker å ta inn over seg. Etter et tøvær er det nå full backlash i Teheran.

Israel utelukker ikke at det vil handle på egen hånd:

The desire to pursue a broader strategy against Iran’s nuclear ambitions is driven in part, officials say, by increasingly strong private statements by Israeli officials that they will not tolerate the development of an Iranian nuclear weapon, and may be forced to consider military action similar to the attack against a nuclear reactor in Iraq two decades ago if Tehran is judged to be on the verge of deploying a weapon. (In contrast, North Korea’s neighbors, especially South Korea and China, are seeking stability first, and disarmament as a longer-term goal, diplomats from the region say.)

Når det gjelder WMD og kanskje også Al Qaida-samarbeid, tyder mye på at Bush-administrasjonen valgte feil land: De skulle heller tatt Iran, selv om det ville vært en vanskeligere oppgave.

Det finnes en opplagt parallell til dagens situasjon: Israels bombing av den irakiske Osirak-reaktoren i 1981. Det var sterke reaksjoner da det skjedde. Men da man etter første Golf-krig ble klar over hvor langt Saddam var kommet, fikk pipen en annen lyd. Hadde ikke Israel bombet i 1981 hadde Saddam trolig hatt atomvåpen i 91, og da hadde utgangen kanskje blitt en annen.

Sikkerhetsrådgiver Condoleeza Rice kommenterte en mulig israelsk aksjon i helgen:

She declined to say whether the United States would support action by Israel, which says Iran’s program poses a particular threat to its national security, to attack Iran’s facilities the way it attacked the Osirak reactor in Iraq in 1981.

«I think that I don’t want to get into hypotheticals on this,» Ms. Rice said. «I do think that there are very active efforts under way, for instance, to undermine the ability of the Iranians under the cover of civilian nuclear cooperation to get the components that would help them for nuclear weapons developments.»

Det er interessant at den nye rapporten er skrevet uten å legge skjul på alle kunnskapshullene når det gjelder Nord-Korea

The new report on North Korea, which has circulated among senior American officials and has been described to The New York Times, appears to have been written far more cautiously than the National Intelligence Estimate that erroneously described advanced weapons programs in Iraq. It describes in detail vast gaps in American knowledge. For example, it acknowledges that the whereabouts of North Korea’s stockpile of more than 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods has been a mystery since early 2003, but also concludes that the North has had plenty of time to reprocess the rods into enough fuel for six to eight additional weapons. Before then, North Korea was judged by the C.I.A. to have one or two weapons developed a decade ago.

Diplomacy Fails to Slow Advance of Nuclear Arms

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