een watching this thread for quite a while...I think things may continue as is for a while longer. With all the various 'active measures' within Iran being pulicized recently (Stuxnet virus, numerous nuc. scientists assassinations, mysterious facility explosions/sabotage) it seems to me that Israel is doing this the cold war way. See: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
That way their is much more FUD(fear, uncertainty, doubt) about who and how, thus no real smoking gun that says they are definitely involved and no public opinion fallout in the world media...
I'd venture that we are involved too up to our elbows in the covert stuff...i.e. our 'losing' a stealth drone in Iran last week. Oops... No doubt there are black ops going on all around the various borders to sniff out weaknesses/pre-targeting intel stuff.
The key thing is whether the head-honchos at the various three letter agencies and Mossad agree that th nuke development is really at a particular stage or not. We all know we got it wrong big-time in Iraq. I'd verture that we may have some assets inside Iran, but whether they can access the state of the nuke program is another thing all together. To wrap up: Vegas odds on a US vs Iran war in the next 5-6 months -> 3:2 (was 10 to one previously) [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
My odds that Israel attacks Iranian nuke sites within next 6 months -> 8:1
I'm going to put on my Tin Foil hat and propose that a certain presidential candidate will make sure nothing happens unless he a sure loser, then for the good of the country our elections will be postponed, and I'll leave it up to your imagination what will happen. Its just one scenario that I hope that doesn't happen.
"The two enemies of the people are criminals and goverment, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so that the second will not become the legal version of the first" ~ Thomas Jefferson
Hmmm...well Israel is heating things up so it seems:
"A senior Israeli cabinet minister on Monday said Iran must be forced to face an existential question over its nuclear drive: choose between getting an atomic bomb, or survival." [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
I'd say that is a pretty strong hint from them.
I looked at that neat map link Musi: If Israel does a strike, they need to cross either Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria or Turkey...then Iraq to get to the target. While privtely Saudi govt. would be in favor of them doing it, they will not allow it openly. We might be able to strong-arm them into not noticing if need be, but with the craziness going on in Syria now I'd bet that the IAF is mapping out where things are breaking down now in Syria with their forces too busy handling internal unrest. What do you guys think..?
I think... that we are seeing the next level of escalation in the Iranian mess. That next level includes covert sabotage of strategic military assets such as long range missiles and nuke resources. That puts the ball in the Iranian court.
The greatest challenge that the west faces is incompetant intel. Without quality intel data it is the same old blind, elephantine routine. Israeli air strike(s) are out due to range over hostile islamic territory. That doesn't rule out ICBMS on Iran.
If you look over a map of the AO you'll see that Iran and Syria are only about 130 miles apart through the mountains (not a cool place to hike). Iran supplies Hamas terrorists with materiel through Syria. Hamas and its' fellow terror groups then shoot the stuff at Israel routinely.
The short term solution is to cut Syria out of the supply linkage. The next issue is ending the current leadership in Iran for keeps. We may see these strategic issues addressed during the US Presidential change in 2012.