The Truth About Iranian Missiles
Let’s dissect a headline:
Here’s the true parts:
1. Iran is a country that exists
2. The Pentagon is a place that says lots of nonsensical things
If we’re realistic about examining the “threat” of Iran nuking the US in two short years, there are a starling array of things worth noting. The one that struck me though is that Iran has been “within X years” where X is 2-4 depending on how hawkish the person claiming it is, from nuking the US for as long as I can remember.
That’s not hyperbole. People in the US literally began making these dire predictions in the early 1980′s, when I was just learning to read and before I’d started grade school. 30+ years later, the predictions are still coming, and they’re still headline news.
The claim stems from two different assumptions:
a) Iran will have mastered making warhead-capable miniaturized nuclear bombs.
b) Iran will have developed ICBMs capable of hitting the US.
Part a) is just embarrassing nonsense, because even America’s own intelligence estimates say Iran hasn’t even been trying to do anything nuclear weapons related in years, and the IAEA keeps reiterating the civilian nature of Iran’s civilian program. We go through this all the time. The b) part I think is more interesting, because Iran actually has missiles, and is trying to improve those missiles.
But here the claim fails too, because Iran’s developments in missile technology have centered almost entirely on the twin disciplines of anti-aircraft missiles to protect themselves against air strikes, and medium-range missiles that max out at about Israel (or Greece for the “Iran’s going to attack Europe” scaremongering).
Every assessment of Iran’s military includes the same word in the conclusion: defensive. Iran can’t have a US-sized military budget, so it focuses primarily on making attack inconvenient and having a credible retaliatory capability in the hopes of convincing Israel or whoever that attacking is too dangerous.
And let’s be honest about the “or whoever” part of that. If Iran gets attacked, it’s going to be by Israel, because they’ve got the unique brand of proactive sociopaths in leadership to start a big war like that for no good reason, while most other nations have a whole other brand of sociopaths in power that are lazy and reluctant to start any war they don’t think they’ll win in a matter of hours.