You posters on here wanting to attack Iran had better consider the consequenses of military action. I'm on record as believing that Iran cant be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. But we really, really, really need think and consider the ramifications of a military strike.
The assessment said extended U.S. strikes could destroy Iran's most important nuclear facilities and damage its military forces but would only delay — not stop — the Islamic republic's pursuit of a nuclear bomb.
"You can't kill intellectual power," said retired Army Lt. Gen. Frank Kearney, who endorsed the report. He is a former deputy director at the National Counterterrorism Center and former deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command.
The report compiled by former government officials, national security experts and retired military officers is to be publicly released Thursday. It says achieving more than a temporary setback in Iran's nuclear program would require a military operation — including a land occupation — more taxing than the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.
Planners and pundits ought to consider that the riots and unrest following a Web entry about an obscure film are probably a fraction of what could happen following a strike — by the Israelis or U.S. — on Iran," retired Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, an endorser of the Iran report and a former operations chief for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview.
The report said the Obama administration's stated objective — shared by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney — of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb is unlikely to be achieved through military force if action is limited to a combination of airstrikes, cyberattacks, covert operations and special operations strikes.
It says an extensive U.S. military assault could delay for up to four years Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon. It also could disrupt Iranian government control, deplete its treasury and raise internal tensions.
"We do not believe it would lead to regime change, regime collapse or capitulation," it said, adding that such an attack would increase Iran's motivation to build a bomb, in part because the Iranian leadership would see building a bomb as a way to inhibit future U.S. attacks "and redress the humiliation of being attacked."
A more ambitious military campaign designed to oust the Iranian regime of hardline clerics or force an undermining of Iran's influence in the Mideast would require the U.S. to occupy part or all of the country, the report said.
"Given Iran's large size and population, and the strength of Iranian nationalism, we estimate that the occupation of Iran would require a commitment of resources and personnel greater than what the U.S. has expended over the past 10 years in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined," the report said.