Why is this such a shock?
The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.
I would be shocked if attack plans weren’t being made. Afterall, diplomacy and world pressure probably won’t convince Iran’s leaders to back off of their nuclear ambitions.
In fact, Ralph Peters points out in today’s NY Post that Iran’s leaders may be pushing for war out of a miscalculation of America’s response:
Have the inner-circle Iranian leaders replicated yesteryear’s decision-making process of Osama bin Laden and his deputies in their Afghan camps – a hothouse atmosphere in which limited evidence was processed selectively and mutual-enablers convinced each other that a few attacks on American landmarks would drive Washington into a global retreat?
Have the Iranians failed to understand the real implications of 9/11? Do they believe that sinking a few oil tankers or even a U.S. Navy ship or two would drive us from the region? Has flawed, impassioned faith led to faulty geo-strategic calculations?
The most worrisome possibility is that they may have convinced themselves they can win.