Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My new favorite blog

Arms Control Wonk, mostly because I've been ignoring Iran and its nuclear program, but feel like I should become a bit more informed. I didn't make it very far before I ran into this article

The Global Range of Iran's Ballistic Missile Program
, by
Uzi Rubin

A couple of excerpts:

Since 1991, the United States has replaced Iraq as threat number one for Iran. The Iranian military's reference threat scenario is a massive U.S. military action against Iran, aided by U.S. allies in the region including the Gulf States and Israel, which they see as an outpost of the United States.

The Iranians are realists. They don't aim to win a set piece battle against the United States. They know it's impossible. Their policy is to deter the United States and its allies by threatening a war that will cause such damage at such a price that this option will become unacceptable to the United States. With this perspective, they are not focusing their efforts on renovating their quite large armed forces. Rather, they are investing very smartly in deterrence enhancers and force multipliers. Replacing obsolete equipment has secondary priority.


In 2006, the Iranian political leadership seems to have moved beyond the needs of self-defense and is now talking about global power projection. At a recent conference in Berlin, one of the deputies to Iran's foreign minister called upon the world to recognize that Islam comprises 25 percent of humanity and should occupy its rightful place in decision-making in world affairs and in the allocation of the world's resources. Statements like this are not about self-defense.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated that Islam should roll back 300 years of Western ascendancy. He was speaking in the name of Islam, not in the name of Iran. At the same time, there is talk about the greatness of Iran, with its 6,000-year-old civilization. The Iranians are trying to retrieve the old glory of the empire and at the same time become the leaders of world Islam. The development of long-range missiles is a key element in building up Iran's power to assume such a leadership position.


august said...

One of my favorite blogs. Even though I'm not into guns and bombs, Jeffrey just makes so much sense on so many issues that I find him addictive. Plus -- coolest avatars on the web!

hipparchia said...

hey, august!

i'm glad you dropped by, i forgot to credit you for this one. i originally found it at your blog. thanks for posting the link.

Unknown said...

For even a slight understanding of Iran (and the entire Middle East) I believe that one must go back more than 100 years and begin with the history of the now defunct Ottoman Empire. So much of what is happening today has its roots in the actions of the Allied Powers in dividing and exploiting the breakup of the Ottomans.

hipparchia said...

probably it wouldn't hurt us to go back even further than that, but definitely the present-day [apparent] assumption that ousting saddam hussein would fix any problems is much too short-sighted.