Monday, 20 August 2012

I'm Not Saying We Wouldn't Get Our Hair Mussed

At Balloon Juice, Bernard Finel writes on the increasingly likely prospect of war with Iran:

There has been some debate in strategic studies circles about whether this represented a warning against war or whether it was an effort to diminish expectations of catastrophic consequences in order to justify an attack on Iran. It sounds bad—war on “multiple fronts,” “hundreds of rockets and missiles”—but when you get right down to it, a month of conflict and 500 deaths could easily be seen as a small price to pay to end Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
 Finel quotes Israeli defense minister Matan Vilnai:

Vilnai said the government has prepared for the possibility of hundreds of rockets and missiles falling on Israeli population centers each day, with the expectation of 500 deaths.
“It could be that there will be fewer fatalities, but it could be there will be more. That is the scenario that we are preparing for according to the best experts,” he said. “The assessments are for a war that will last 30 days on a number of fronts.”
Five hundred deaths could easily - easily! - be seen as a small price to pay. Five hundred Israeli deaths, of course, using Matan Vilnai's estimate. There's no need to think about the Iranian casualties, or the victims of hundreds of Israeli rockets and missiles. No, the price of ending Iran's possible nuclear ambitions is five hundred deaths, more or less, depending on the breaks. What other deaths could matter?

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