If an air and missile strike could destroy Iran's nuclear weapons program, it might seem the best of many bad options. But the likely costs outweigh the benefits. ... Unless we were prepared to escalate, ultimately to the point of taking down the regime, we could end up in worse shape than when we began.
Then Kagan entertains a little wishful thinking. Maybe, just maybe, if we keep our fingers crossed and eat all our vegetables, we can support domestic regime change. [If you listen closely, you can hear me laughing.]
Still, Kagan is a smart guy. He returns to the real world.
But we shouldn't delude ourselves. Efforts to foment political change won't necessarily bear fruit in time to prevent Iran from acquiring a bomb. That may be the risk we have to take. But if this or the next administration decides it is too dangerous to wait for political change, then the answer will have to be an invasion, not merely an air and missile strike, to put an end to Iran's nuclear program as well as to its regime.Now more than ever it is important that we not delude ourselves. The stakes are too high and the threats all too terrible.