Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Monday, February 26, 2007
William Arkin writes about Iran war planning today, and makes a very good point. Arkin doesn't think that an attack is imminent, but he puzzles at why the Pentagon continually "lies" about the planning going on? He posits that the lies can lead to miscalculations by the Iranians and are dangerous. I agree.

But the other point to which I'm referring is this. Arkin says that if we attack Iran, won't the Iraqi government have to approve the use of airbases within Iraq to do so? Arkin discusses how Kuwait was a "lynchpin" to the attack on Saddam Hussein, that without those bases and airspace an attack on Iraq would have been quite difficult if not impossible. Can the same now be said about Iraq with regard to attacking Iran? Would a heavily Shiite government friendly to Iran ever give such permission? He also cites Qatar, Afghanistan, Turkey or Baharain as "lynchpins" in an attack on Iran. If any of these states refuse, it could have a "cascading" effect on the other states thereby stopping an attack.

I'm not sure about Arkin's assumption as the any map of the middle east will show that Iran has an enormous coastline, and the U.S. has two (with a third on the way) carrier fleets in the Persian Gulf. This gives the U.S. the capability to instigate an aerial war against Iran without permission from anyone. If it was a land attack, then Arkin may be correct. But it seems to me that an aerial assault could be done with significant intensity without the permission of any of the regional states. And if Israel instigates the attack, would they even give a rip about getting permission from Jordan or Iraq? I don't think so.