This anonymous Israeli is not thinking clearly:
“If Iran is struck surgically, it will react – no doubt,” said the former Israeli official, echoing Mr. Barak’s comments last year. “But that reaction will be calculated and in proportion to its capabilities. Iran will not set the Middle East on fire.”
“Is 40 missiles on Tel Aviv nice?” the official asked, summing up the Israeli calculus. “No. But it’s better than a nuclear Iran.”
Try 40 missiles on Tel Aviv and then a nuclear Iran. Not a single credible source indicates that Israel, or the United States, can destroy the Iranian nuclear program. Every responsible planner must presume that Iran will both retaliate for a strike and rebuild its nuclear program with all alacrity. Meanwhile, Tel Aviv and Isfahan smolder; Hezbollah, Hamas and the IRGC strike back; and we’re in the exact same situation in, say, three to five years.
As it happens, I attended a journalists’ roundtable this morning with Gen. Norton Schwartz, the Air Force’s chief of staff, and he dispensed cold water on an Iran attack by the bucket:
“Everything we have to do has to have an objective,” Gen. Norton Schwartz, the Air Force’s chief of staff, told reporters at a breakfast meeting Wednesday. “What is the objective? Is it to eliminate [Iran's nuclear program]? Is it to delay? Is it to complicate? What is the national security objective?”
“There’s a tendency for all of us to go tactical too quickly, and worry about weaponeering and things of that nature,” Schwartz continued. “Iran bears watching” is about as far as the top Air Force officer was willing to go.
I would also commend Jeff Emanuel’s piece for RedState — you heard me, son — which explains very patiently why a war with Iran is contrary to U.S. interests.