REPORT: «Blocking All Paths to an Iranian Bomb: How the West Can Avoid a Nuclear Maginot Line» http://ow.ly/yIcHn
«Blocking All Paths to an Iranian Bomb: How the West Can Avoid a Nuclear Maginot Line»
Authors: Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School, Oren Setter, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program
French Minister of War Andre Maginot became famous among military strategists for his fixation on a single route of attack that led to fatal neglect of alternatives. Seeking to defeat a German invasion along the primary East-West axis, Maginot constructed an impregnable line of fortifications in the 1930s that succeeded in preventing the attack he most feared. But when German panzers outflanked that line and rolled through Belgium in 1940, their attack from the rear led to France’s surrender in just six weeks.
In concentrating so much of their mindshare on imposing constraints on Iran’s known nuclear facilities at Natanz, Fordow, and Arak, are the US and its five negotiating partners at risk of creating a nuclear Maginot line?
In the world of business, when a firm wants a product, the first question it asks is: make or buy. Quite often, it is the latter. In highly competitive markets, for example, next-generation personal computing devices, Apple and Google also ask: overt or covert. While occasionally they publicize in advance the features of a product they will bring to market in the year ahead, more often (for example, in the case of the iPad), they develop the product in the secrecy of their own labs—and only then announce what they have done.
Graphically, these two dimensions translate into the 2×2 table on the cover that serves as the framework for this analysis. For thinking about the challenge Iran’s nuclear program poses to the US and its allies, it raises two key questions.
First, if in the next several years, Iran is found to have a nuclear bomb, along which of the four paths will it have succeeded?
Second, in assessing the allocation of the P5+1 governments’ interest, energy, and effort to meet the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the reader is again invited to fill in the quadrants in figure 2 below, putting 1 in the box that is consuming most of the attention, and 2, 3, and 4 for the others. Here, the same informal poll yielded a consensus around the make/overt option… MORE