Open Source Intelligences Robert M  Term Paper

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The F-16s can be used if bigger warheads are necessary. The F-16s can carry bunker buster missiles, which can penetrate anything that might be protecting the nuclear sites. A-10s are fighter planes that are used against tanks and in close combat support.

4. Have the political options run out?

As it relates to the issue of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, the political options have not run out. This statement is made despite the fact that any hope for a peaceful resolution to this problem seems unlikely. The Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made a number of negative statements against the United States and Israel in the last five years. His statements reveal a clear, deep hatred against these so-called "Zionist" countries. He has even gone so far as to vow that a new Middle East will arise, one without the presence of Israel. However, his comments seem to be based on retaliation if Iran is attacked, rather than lashing out against these countries.

The current political climate in Iran makes it seem even more unlikely that a peaceful, political solution to this problem will be found. Currently, Iranians who would be in favor of disbanding the nuclear program, called Reformists, are being held away from positions of political power. The most influential body of Iran, called the Guardian Council is completely conservative, and Reformists are banned from even standing in elections. Parliament can pass laws in Iran, but the Guardian Council can veto them. The commanders of the armed forces are appointed by the Supreme Leader himself and report only to him. The same is true with the head of the judiciary. The judiciary system is used in part to suppress the Reformists. In short, conservatives control every major part of Iran's power system, including the media, which makes it highly unlikely that a political resolution will be found for this problem.

Despite all of these facts, political options have not run out. This is evidenced by Iran's response to efforts to stop their nuclear program. For one thing, they signed a treaty that they say they will honor. They say they will not use their technology to make nuclear weapons because they do not need them. In addition, Iran has had more liberal leadership in the past. If it has been done before, it can be done again. Despite the grim outlook of the current political situation in Iraq, the political options have not run out.

5. Is the risk factor low, or at least tolerable?

The risk factor for a military strike against Iran is neither low nor tolerable. Iran has made it abundantly clear that they will respond in kind to a military attack against them. An attack on Iran runs a great risk of setting off a domino effect in which World War III is begun. World War III is an eventuality that must be avoided by all countries that would be potentially involved in this altercation.

Since the leadership is committed to achieving a peaceful solution to this problem, the objective is not obtainable by military means, the political options have not run out, and the risk factor is too high, a military solution to this problem is not a wise undertaking.

References

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Berman, Ilan. (2007). The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: Latest Developments and Next Steps.

Retrieved from: http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Berman_Ilan

Clark, Robert M. (2003). Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach. Washington,

D.C.: CQ Press.

Gardner, David. (2010). Keeping the Enemy Guessing Blurs Easily Into Playing With

Fire. Financial Times, vol. 6.

Grabo, Cynthia M. (2004). Anticipating Surprise: Analysis for Strategic Warning.

Lanam, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Jonas, Jeff, and Jim Harper. (2006). Effective Counterterrorism and the Limited Role of Predictive Data Mining. Policy Analysis, no. 584

National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan. (2003). U.S. Department of Justice.

Pletka, Danielle, and Ali Alfoneh. (2009). Iran's Hidden Revolution. The New York

Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/17/opinion/17pletka.html?_r=2&ref=todayspaper

Q&A: Iran and the Nuclear Issue. (2010). BBC News. Retrieved from:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4031603.stm

Samli, Bill. (2005). Iran: Nuclear Decision Making Undergoes Changes. Radio Free

Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved from: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1060544.html

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