Feature

The least awful option on Iraq

We can live with a nuclear Iran.

George WillThe Washington Post

We can live with a nuclear Iran, said George Will. Even though the mullahs have agreed to temporarily freeze their nuclear program, it’s clear they will never agree to give up enriching uranium completely. But there’s every reason to think they will unilaterally “stop just short of weaponization.” Iran’s regime may be bellicose and untrustworthy—but it is not suicidal. It knows that building a nuclear bomb would invite a punishing attack from Israel and the U.S., and leave it even more isolated and threatened than before. So Iran’s likely goal is to enrich to the point of “breakout capability,” giving it the ability to build a bomb in a matter of months. Launching a pre-emptive war might temporarily set back that goal—but would invite a major conflict with Iran, a nation with three times the population of Iraq and a more potent military. That’s why “serious, aggressive containment” is preferable. Critics of the deal call containment “appeasement,” but containment has successfully prevented nuclear war for more than 60 years. Given that our only other option is yet another costly and unpredictable war, “containment is the least awful response.”

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