File:The Use of Land Power to Counter the Iranian Nuclear Proliferation Challenge (2007).pdf

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English: Use of land power to counter the Iranian nuclear proliferation challenge (2007): The United States and Iran have been in conflict since the Iranian Revolution. Iran is seeking to increase its power in the Middle East while America is seeking to maintain its own power in the region while simultaneously containing Iran’s regional ambitions. Though there appear to have been attempts by Iranian moderates to temper Iranian policy towards the US, extremists within Iran’s domestic power structure have successfully blocked any significant openings. Since at least the Iran-Iraq War, Iran has been developing nuclear technology to acquire the nuclear fuel cycle. Because the fuel cycle will allow Iran to construct atomic weapons as well as generate electricity, the US has opposed Iran’s attempt at nuclear proliferation. With the news that Iran has begun enriching uranium and that it seeks to produce plutonium, the US and some European countries have sought to dissuade Iran from completing the nuclear fuel cycle. Since the 9/11 attacks the US has declared a policy to stop emerging threats before they become dangerous. In this context, President Bush has declared that Iran will not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. In order to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, a number of policies are suggested including a diplomatic “Grand Bargain,” building a system of containment and deterrence, and using military power to destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. In the case of using military power, air strikes are the most frequent recommendation, and the use of land power is largely ignored. If land power were used to destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, there are three major options including an invasion and occupation, a strategic raid to destroy known nuclear facilities, and a special operations raid to destroy a single nuclear facility. Each ground option would rely on significant air and naval power to be successful. The invasion option is feasible with great effort and is the most suitable ground option because it provides a certainty of effect that no other course of action can match. However, the invasion option is not acceptable due to the high costs. The strategic raid option is marginally feasible, but the costs are not acceptable and it lacks significant advantage over the pure air option thus rendering it only marginally suitable. The special operations raid is conditionally an acceptable course of action, but it is neither suitable nor feasible given the lack of intelligence the US has about Iranian nuclear facilities and the limited effect a special operations raid could have on a large industrial target.
Date
Source http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p4013coll2/id/1058/rec/8
Author Bruce W. Terry

Licensing

Public domain
This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

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