All the reasons for invading Iraq apply doubly to Iran, and with far greater urgency. Iran right now poses the imminent threat to America which Iraq did not in 2003. Iran may already have some nuclear weapons, purchased from North Korea or made with materials acquired from North Korea, which would increase its threat to us from imminent to direct and immediate.
Iran’s mullahs are about to produce their first home-built nuclear weapons this year. If we permit that, many other countries, some of whose governments are dangerously unstable, will build their own nuclear weapons to deter Iran and each other from nuclear attack as our inaction will have demonstrated our unwillingness to keep the peace. This rapid and widespread proliferation will inevitably lead to use of nuclear weapons in anger, both by terrorists and by fearful and unstable third world regimes, at which point the existing world order will break down and we will suffer every Hobbesian nightmare of nuclear proliferation.
Holsinger reasons that a nuclear Iran and the West's inability or unwillingness to do anything about it would leads to a nuclear arms race with the likes of Syria and Egypt which would exponentially increase the chances of one being used in theater against Israeli or in a terrorist act against us. Holsinger argues that Iran could be ripe for a revolution in a few years but that we can no longer wait for that thanks to a high likelihood that the mullahs have bought enriched fissionable materials from the likes of AQ Khan and the North Koreans.
He also argues that an air campaign alone will NOT achieve our aims and we need a lightning ground invasion of Iran followed by an occupation. The good news is that the Iranian body politics [he argues] is much healthier than Saddam's and a thorough rebuilding will unlikely be necessary.
Expensive? Yes. Unpopular? Potentially spectacularly. How about compared with a nuke on Tel Aviv [and the Israeli response] or in New York?
Holsinger doesn't get into how we will get the 200,000 men he estimates will be required for the campaign or other logistics details that he believes will be a monumental challenge but his argument that the Iranian nuclear capability needs to be thwarted THIS YEAR is hard to refute.
Read it all.
This and other articles by serious folks, including Hillary(!) refusing to rule out military force is very sobering (and ought to be.) There is a great temptation to leave the status quo and HOPE the mullahs are saner than they appear. I think we would, in time, come to regret that decision. Look to Bush's State of the Union for clues on what the Administration is really thinking on Iran.