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On the other hand the internal political situation in Iran may make it imperative for Iran to have some similar response, such as sinking or seriously damaging  a NATO warship or a commercial vessel. Whether both sides could then agree to a truce would be the question. Both sides would then run the risk of being portrayed as weak by internal political opponents.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 11:26:56 AM EST
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Yes, that's the risk you always run when you use military action to wrap yourself in the flag for domestic consumption.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2012 at 11:32:09 AM EST
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I believe that Hezbollah firing rockets to Israel is more likely response than a direct strike against USA or Israel by Iran. Compared to USA Israel is less likely to feel it is compelled to start all out war against Iran if it attacked by proxies of Iran. I also think that the same reason increases likelyhood of Israel attacking Iran instead of USA.
by Jute on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 04:24:52 AM EST
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But given Iran's defensive arsenal, Israel on its own may prove ineffective. If Iran's air force and AA defenses are any good operationally, that would be a strategic blunder for Israel. If their bombers were shot down without attaining any significant objectives, and without retaliation, the USA would have no excuse to intervene, and Iran's status would be considerably enhanced.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Feb 16th, 2012 at 04:54:16 AM EST
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