The Iran Debate: To Strike or Not to Strike
The cases for, and against, a military attack against Iran to deter its nuclear program. Read the full collection.
As North Korea issues increasingly over-the-top threats, officials in Washington have sought to reassure the public and U.S. allies. But the risk of nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula is far from remote—and the United States should adjust its military planning accordingly.
Our new eBook is now available! Bringing together a broad range of important articles from Foreign Affairs and ForeignAffairs.com, Iran and the Bomb tells the story of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons and the outside world’s struggle to respond.
Sanctions have succeeded in bringing Tehran back to the negotiating table, but they are a tactic, not a strategy. Any long-term policy has to aim for a democratic Iran.
(From the new issue, out next week.)
Nuclear weapons are hard to build for managerial reasons, not technical ones. This is why so few authoritarian regimes have succeeded: they don’t have the right culture or institutions. When it comes to Iran’s program, then, the United States and its allies should get out of the way and let Iran’s worst enemies — its own leaders — gum up the process on their own. Read the full article.
Iran and the United States Face Off in Turkey (What to Expect When You Are Expecting Iran to Go Nuclear)
This weekend’s nuclear negotiations will almost certainly reach a dead end. Even so, they will have been worthwhile. Without a good-faith diplomatic effort, Washington would find it harder to get other capitals on board with alternative approaches, including a military strike.
Why North Korea Gets Away With It — Pyongyang’s Skillful Deterrence
Before North Korea conducted its latest missile test, President Barack Obama and other world leaders were condemning the regime for its act of aggression. But North Korea will inevitably go unpunished for this provocation — just as it has in the past. The country’s nuclear arsenal, potential for collapse, and reputation for unpredictability all keep its foes from retaliating. Full article.
The debate in Jerusalem about attacking Iran makes clear that Israel does not trust its “bomb in the basement” to do what nuclear weapons are best at doing: deterring their use by others. Embracing this capability would leave the country much safer.