Iran is on everyones radar right now. The outcome from their negotiations with the EU 3 and the IAEA will be crucial to their future standing in the world.
The range of possible attacks against Iran are numerous, they could be in the form of economic sanctions, or precise military strikes, or full on invasion and regime change.
I’m going to speak on the last option because the people who advocate it, or suggest its’ feasability are often the same people who say that the US has unfairly been given the role as the worlds policeman. They say that Europe has become unable to defend itself from conventional attack and relies solely on the USs’ global reach for its’ defense.
While some cite Iran as being the an example of why a strong conventional military must be maintained to repulse any threat or force regime change, I contend that Iran is the exact opposite. It is, rather, an example of how the increasing threat against it has spurred its’ renewed efforts to buildup its’ defenses even though Iran itself has never, actually started a war.
Since the end of the Qajar dynasty in 1925which descended from Ghandis Khan and the Mongol hordes… Iran has existed in what we would consider its’ modern form.
So where exactly is the threat from Iran coming from?
Should the Europeans be increasing their military power to counter a threat from Iran?
Hardly. From what I’ve seen, in 80 years Iran has never once attacked a neighbour. Instead they have consistently reacted to outside pressures by building up their deterant and defensive capabilities.
It is abundantly clear why Iran is again building her army… it’s a direct reaction to Israels’ continued secret nuclear capability, and the US militaries’ imposing position on their borders, both to the West in Iraq and North in Afghanistan.
Faced with such obvious threats and the examples set by a nuclear Pakistan and India, the question should be why *wouldn’t* the Iranians build up their capabilities?
In a real, conventional war only North Korea out of the 3 “Axis” states (Syria, Iran and NK) would be able to put up a fight. And in all three cases, it is far more likely that the soldiers would rather flee and their superiors negotiate their wn survival than fight any modern war where their defeat is absolutely ssured no matter who does the “heavy lifting”. What’s more the worlds inevitable progress of globalization will mean that economic growth will lead towards unexpected alliances and shared interests.
Take for example the recent revelation that Pakistan, a “key ally” with the US on the war on Terror, will be conducting naval exercises with Iran.
Or that over the past two years trade between Afghanistan and Iran has reached $260 million?
How would a military strike on Iran change that?
While I do believe that Europe and Canada need to modernize and refocus their militaries so that they are more responsibe and able to deal with situations quickly and effetively, there is absolutely no reason for any western nation, including the US, to have a huge standing army ready to fight a conventional war of conquest. Indeed, conventional wars like we have seen in Iraq do far more to destabilize an entire region than remove a threat.
It is the actions by a country over a long period of time that should determine whether they are a threat or not. And from what I’ve seen, Iran is the least of our worries.