Wednesday, April 12, 2006

We Are Not Going to Nuke Iran

I have just found a very good blog called 'Arms Control Wonk." His latest is a detailed discussion of what it would take to wipe out Iran's Nuclear facility and why.

One enormous weakness of Natanz is that it lacks the best defense any HDBT can have: concealment. Concealment includes both hiding the location and layout of the strcuture and inhibiting battle damage assessment to know when enough is enough. In the case of Saddam’s bunker, one defensive mechanism appeared to be “false floors” that caused GBU-28s to detonate prematurely.

Collapsing the roof, by the way, is not the option. Given the overhead imagery available, the US IC should have a very sophisticated understanding of the facility and its links to the outside world. The United States could choose to entomb the structure by collapsing entrances, ventillation systems and cutting the water and power. Centrifuge facilities like to be clean and temperature controlled, so entombing the facility would do quite a bit of damage. Anyone inside the entombed facility, slowly suffocating in the dark, would probably be praying for the roof to cave in.

If the President was feeling particularly plucky that day, he could use special forces teams to breach the facility, though I think serving as spotters is probably the most likely role.

All of this is to say that I would be surprised if a nuclear weapon were our only option in cracking this facility.


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