Military strikes would be a godsend for the regime in Iran, especially the hardliners that the United States most fears. Targeted strikes on several key installations might indeed disrupt the nuclear program, but again these would generate immense consequences for the US and its allies. Military strikes would create ill-will from ordinary Iranians and extend indefinitely the lifetime of the regime. Such strikes also would not be enough to topple the regime and no government now has the manpower or will for such an occupation.
To the degree that military strikes would be successful and would manage to destabilize the regime, US foreign policy would be faced with a vortex of anarchy stretching from Islamabad to Damascus.
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Scott is a Washington, DC-based analyst specializing in the Middle East, most specifically Iran. He also currently works at Jane's Intelligence Group.
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