Foreign and Defense Policy, Middle East and North Africa

‘We can live with a nuclear Iran’

Just in time for your post-Monday morning coffee jitters comes a calming article from Paul Pillar, former CIA Near East hand: “We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran.” The article is little more than a rehash of why those who aren’t psyched about a nuclear Iran are wrong (one assumes Pillar also means President Obama, who told AIPAC yesterday that we could not live with a nuclear Iran); why America is concerned because we are channeling Israel; why Israel has enough nukes to destroy Iran if threatened; why war is not the answer. Lalala. It’s not that everything in the piece is wrong; certainly, an attack on Iran will result in blowback and could well strengthen hardliners in Tehran. But the overall conclusion is wrong.

More importantly—and I say “more” because this piece will only serve as cannon fodder for the fusillades of the anti-war Left; it doesn’t seek to educate—“We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran” reminds us how foully politicized the U.S. intelligence community is, how partisan its analysts have become, and how little we can rely on their judgment. Here’s a piece I did in 2006 about the selfsame Pillar, and the selfsame problem. Is it any wonder that the CIA estimates that Iran has no active nuclear weapons program?

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