The reason Israel should ignore the Progressive foreign policy consensus that says Israel should not bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities for fear of starting a “regional war” is because these are exactly the same Progressive geopolitical “experts” who helped create the economic conditions for Russia to wage war on Ukraine.
The primary way these Progressive “experts” facilitated Putin’s invasion was via their veering away from diplomacy and into climatology when they encouraged America and Europe to transition from stable nuclear and hydrocarbon sources of energy in favor of very unreliable wind and solar energy.
Almost all of these Progressive foreign policy analysts cheered Europe’s transition to unreliable energy sources, which in turn made the continent more and more reliant on Russian hydrocarbon fuels.
Today the Russians are using the trillions of dollars Europe have paid for Russian oil and gas to wage war on Ukraine.
Better still, Europe’s dependence on Russian energy remains so complete (because wind and solar are such worthless energy technologies) that most of Europe cannot risk banning purchases of Russian oil and gas despite the ongoing war.
Now, what do these same Progressive foreign policy analysts have to say about the possibility of Israel bombing Iran’s nuclear program?
These same Progressives whose preferred energy policies helped finance Putin’s war machine are the same Progressives who say it is too dangerous for Israel to bomb Iran because of the risk it would spark some kind of a regional war.
Israel should ignore this military advice just as completely as Germany should have ignored the Progressive foreign policy elite’s advice on energy policy.
The simple fact is that an airstrike against Iran (with or without support from the Biden Administration or the renewal of the JCPOA) is Israel’s best option because Israel does not need to worry about Iran retaliating with a “regional war” because Iran does not have the ability to wage a regional war.
Any Iranian missile retaliation against Saudi Arabia by Iranian Houthi proxies in Yemen would mostly be stopped by Saudi Arabia’s Patriot missile systems.
An attempt by Iran to stop the flow of oil tanker traffic through the Strait of Hormuz with anti-ship mines would result in the US Navy destroying the wildly inferior Iranian Navy and clearing any mines that were laid out of the Strait with minesweepers.
The only serious retaliation option for Iran would be to order its Hezbollah allies to attack Israel.
But even in this case Israel would be well positioned to defeat any hostile action out of Lebanon.
In a couple of weeks Israel’s military superiority would suppress any attacks launched by Hezbollah, most likely losing only a couple hundred civilians and soldiers.
Hezbollah would also be fighting mostly alone because Syria’s military is exhausted after years of civil war and Iran is too poor to provide significant logistical support to its favorite proxy terrorist group.
Even if Hezbollah managed to drag out a conflict for a couple of months Israel would eventually win and the Iranian nuclear program would still be destroyed.
None of these retaliatory options would amount to any kind of regional war anymore than wind turbines have any chance of replacing fossil fuels.
Iran might be able to restart the engineering work for a new nuclear program but this would take years and Israel can always just bomb any new nuclear installations periodically once every couple of years, as many times as necessary.
With a destroyed Iranian program there would be no risk of Iran developing a bomb, an outcome that would be favorable to the United States (whether Biden realizes it or not) because Iran is MUCH easier to contain without a nuclear bomb than with a nuclear bomb.
If Iran never gets the bomb (and therefore cannot engage in North Korea-style nuclear blackmail/brinkmanship that would divert significant American deterrent resources to the Middle East just as North Korea’s brinkmanship diverts American forces to defend South Korea) then America can more easily divert moderate resources from the Middle East (without abandoning the region completely) to other parts of Asia such as Australia or Japan in order to deter China.
The hardest part of an Israeli airstrike is not that Iran would start a regional war that it clearly doesn’t have the resources to fight but in somehow delivering sufficient Israeli munitions to destroy hardened, deeply buried, nuclear facilities.
But this is a problem of military engineering and planning for the Israelis to solve, and as the Ukrainians have demonstrated a bit of military creativity and raw determination (not to mention a willingness to ignore the foreign policy experts who said Kiev would fall in a week or less) can carry a nation under threat a long way.