07 March 2008

Thoughts for Iran Hawks from a Conservative Scholar

Here is the gist of a recent report in The San Francisco Chronicle:

A Nobel laureate with expertise on diplomatic negotiations and nuclear strategy urged the Bush administration Tuesday to stop issuing public statements that imply the United States will use overwhelming force to destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities.

[. . . ]

"The Bush administration aggravates Iran's interest in nuclear weapons," said Schelling, 86, a professor from the University of Maryland.

He said his advice to the White House would be: "Whenever someone says, 'Is any kind of military action or attack under consideration?' instead of saying, 'All options are on the table,' they should say, 'No - we're negotiating through the U.N.; we're not going to do anything unilaterally,' " Schelling said in the interview.

At the invitation of Tehran's Sharif University of Technology, Schelling visited Iran for the first time in January. While there, he got an inside look at the ongoing showdown between Washington and Tehran.

There for 11 days, he said most Iranians he met admire the United States - and dislike their own president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Schelling is no liberal but he has thought more creatively about deterence than most people on earth. Maybe our Hawks ought to pay attention?



Anonymous Scott Hughes said...

Unfortunately, the neo-conservatives do not base their actions on thoughtful practicality. They base them on aggressive chest-banging.

07 March, 2008 22:37  
Anonymous Dawei from Beijing said...

Conventional nuclear-deterrence strategies are predicated on the notion that all actors are rational. Do you believe the mullahs to be rational? I'm not convinced they are.

08 March, 2008 00:17  
Blogger Stan B. said...

The reason Ahmadinejad is president in the first place is because they didn't listen when Iran was doing headstands to get our attention to negotiate in good faith.

There comes a time when you have to question whether our long, woeful history of blowback throughout the world isn't just a case of ignorance writ large.

09 March, 2008 01:45  

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