USA og Israel har brukt opp ammunisjonen de skulle brukt mot Iran og står rådløsel, skriver Anatole Kaletsky i the Times.

But if sanctions are doomed to failure, what about military options? As a last resort, couldn’t America or Israel stop the nuclear programme by threatening to bomb Iran? Sadly or happily (depending on your worldview), the answer is a very clear «no». Militarily, America and Israel have now shot their bolts in Iraq and Lebanon respectively. They have neither the firepower nor the willpower to do anything to stop Iran’s nuclear programme — and even if they did have the capacity to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, they could not afford the risk of destabilising their other Middle Eastern interests even further by taking military action. Moreover, both America and Israel now understand that a bombing campaign that could not be backed by an infantry invasion would only reinforce the existing regime’s grip on power.

Times får feedback fra reflekterte lesere:

A very interesting hypothesis, but it maybe gives insufficient weight to one consideration – the risks inherent in defeat. America’s exit from Vietnam was humiliating, but posed no direct threat to the American homeland. However there is virtually nothing that Israel could lose that would be worse than the prospect of a nuclear Iran, or, say, Hezbollah. For America and the West, closing the straits of Hormuz is a serious threat, but one much more credible if Iran is nuclear. Sometimes the frying pan really is better than the fire.

David Bannen, Oxford, Britain

The Iranian paradox: to gain victory the West must first concede defeat