Monday, September 26, 2005

Remember the Axis of Evil?

The Persian branch of that enterprise is alive and well, and until we deal with the mulahs in Tehran, we cannot gain victory in the War on Terror.

NRO's Michael Ledeen does a great job covering the geopolitical aspects of the Iran problem.

From the military perspective, I can only concur with Ledeen's analysis of the "negotiations" between the Iranians and the EU-3 (Britain, Germany and France). These "talks" are little more than a Middle Eastern version of the con job that North Korea has used to extract aid from the west, while hiding--and preserving--its nuclear program.

Simply stated, Iran will not abandon its nuclear program. And, any sudden compromise or agreement with the Europeans should be viewed with alarm, since it will mean that Iran has succeeded in hiding enough of its program to continue its efforts covertly.

Indeed, all the indicators from Iran suggest that the nuclear program is continuing unabated. Tehran is systematically developing the weapons systems, infrastructure and targeting capabilities to deploy nuclear weapons in the near future. Nuclear-capable SHAHAB-3 missiles are now operationally deployed at three garrisons in Iran. At least one of the bases has an underground launch capability, greatly reducing warning time for potential attacks, and another installation has silos capable of supporting SHAHAB-3s, or longer-range missiles now under development. The SHAHAB-3 is capable of hitting Israel; follow-on systems may be able to reach much of Europe by the end of this decade, and Tehran could have a crude ICBM, capable of hitting the U.S., within a decade. By that time, Iran's missiles will be tipped with nuclear warheads, and the strategic calculus will forever change.

Meanwhille, the Israelis have beeen strangely quiet on Iran. Stay tuned.

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