Best option for striking Iran – fly high, aim precisely
Israel probably should not contemplate attacking Iran alone, if at all, IMO. The reason begins with the revenge factor. Iranians would spend generations wanting to get even, probably.
Second, Israel doesn’t have stealthy aircraft and are dependent on the US or other allies for refueling.
If the Iranian crisis continues to escalate and military attack is warranted, a coalition force should engage and the US should provide the fly high and aim precisely capability.
“At the Pentagon and in Israel, plans show the difficulties of an Iran strike
By Walter Pincus,
If you are not prepared to go to war, you cannot threaten that “nothing is off the table” as you search for diplomatic solutions.
Thus there are completed plans, updated daily, at Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv and at the Pentagon for carrying out attacks on Iranian facilities in a last-ditch effort to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Intelligence shows that Iran received foreign assistance to overcome key hurdles in acquiring technology that could lead to a nuclear weapon, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. (Editors’ note: An earlier headline on this photo gallery failed to reflect debate over whether Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon.)
Israel has a plan to go it alone. So does the United States. And there may even be a plan for the two countries to collaborate. On Dec. 20, the Joint Chiefs chairman, Gen. Martin Dempsey, told CNN: “We are examining a range of options” and “I am satisfied that the options that we are developing are evolving to a point that they would be executable if necessary.”
In any event, the plans exist, and they illustrate the difficulties in carrying out what some people think would be a simple operation.
For example, should Israel act alone, it would face the extraordinary problem of needing to refuel its bombers en route to targets about 1,000 miles away and refueling them again on the way back. That is why in the new Bipartisan Policy Center report, “Meeting the Challenge: Stopping the Clock,” former senator Charles S. Robb (D-Va.) and retired Air Force Gen. Charles F. Wald suggest that the United States provide Israel with three KC-135 refueling tankers.
Robb and Wald do not advocate that the Israelis undertake such an attack, but they say that providing the tankers would “extend the effective range of Israeli aircraft” and “improve Israeli credibility.”
Then there are questions about what targets should be hit, and how many planes would be needed, to stop Iran’s nuclear program, even temporarily. Israel’s two past successes hardly count.
When Israel knocked out Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in June 1981, it was essentially one ground-level building, yet the mission required 14 Israeli aircraft — F-16 fighter-bombers with some of their fuel tanks removed to carry heavy bombs, and F-15 fighters to handle any Iraqi planes that came up to meet them. Israel’s other success, hitting a partially constructed Syrian facility in September 2007, again targeted a single, ground-level building.
Now look at the potential targets in today’s Iran.
There is the fuel-enrichment plant at Natanz, a collection of below-ground facilities used to produce enriched uranium. There is the newer Fordow fuel-enrichment plant near Qom, built into the side of a mountain and heavily fortified. This is where Iran has already moved 3.5 percent enriched uranium from Natanz and where most analysts believe it will be enriched to weapons grade, if Tehran decides to take that step.
Of course there would be other targets if a strike is to do more than set back Iran by one to three years. At Parchin, one of the nation’s leading munitions centers, Iran is suspected of testing high explosives for use in nuclear weapons, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s November report. There is a uranium conversion plant at Isfahan, a heavy-water facility being constructed at Arak and centrifuge factories outside Tehran.”
Best option is to resolve this diplomatically.