Ali Gharib is a national security reporter for ThinkProgress.org covering U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, particularly Iran. On February 28th Gharib placed a post in "The Daily Beast" entitled "Senators press resolution to green-light Israeli attack on Iran," wherein he writes that Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) plan to introduce a joint resolution declaring U.S. support for an Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear program.
In essence, the resolution would pledge full U.S. support of Israel to attack Iran whenever it feels compelled to do so to defend itself, not unlike the unconditional pledge of support German Kaiser Wilhelm II gave to Austro-Hungary for whatever action it deemed necessary to deal with Serbia in 1914. Germany's pledge to Austro-Hungary became known in history as the "blank check." The result was WW I.
With the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) reportedly planning on sending thousands of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. this week for AIPAC's annual conference to Capitol Hill to press for passage of the legislation and the public largely unaware of it, it appears likely to be passed into law.
Readers with access to the internet can find several websites that outline what an attack on Iran would require. "U.S. Attack on Iran Would Take Hundreds of Planes, Ships, and Missiles," by Noah Shachtman is one; "An Attack On Iran Would Be A Major, Mistaken, War," by Doug Mataconis is another. One line that caught my eye in "Weighing Benefits and Costs of Military Action Against Iran," a 31 page study by 28 former officials of the United States Government and professionals in U.S. national security was: "--- 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."
What seems clear in reading these studies is that, because of a perceived need to go after the Iranian leadership and destroy Iran's weaponry and infrastructure, an attack on Iran would entail far more than a limited quick strike on Iran's nuclear facilities as most of us have been led to believe.
Osama bin Laden hoped to draw the United States into a war in the Middle East on 9/11 so he could break us economically, as the Afghan Mujahedeen did to the Soviet Union. Why give al-Qaeda the last laugh?
The thoughts outlined above represent my personal views and not the views of my former employer.
Dennis Lamb from Chelsea, Iowa, retired from the CIA in 2002 after serving 30 years in its Directorat of Operations as a Case Officer and an Intelligence Analyst.