Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Iran and IR

by Joe Miller

The always enlightening Matt McIntosh has posted a nice analysis of the somewhat incoherent U.S. foreign policy with respect to Iran. Matt's thesis: the hardline approach that the U.S. has taken (beginning with the inclusion of Iran on the "axis of evil" list) provides perverse incentives for the Iranian regime. Specifically, by making it clear that Iran is on our hit list of places-we'd-really-like-to-impose-a-regime-change, the most rational response for Iran is to develop nuclear weapons.

I largely side with Matt here. I've a few reservations, but I'll hold off on further comments until I see the forthcoming part two of the discussion. In the meantime, the discussion in the comments section between Matt and Brian Doss is well worth reading if only for the joy of watching two thoughtful and articulate people taking turns smacking down on the other.

3 Comments:

Blogger Matt McIntosh said...

I appreciate the kind words, Joe. And yes, I love sparring with smart people like Brian (and you, not that we've had much cause yet). Keeps me nimble.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Much like the idiocy of including a date in the "definition" of prevention/pre-emption (see other post)and the statement that all of those who spoke of pre-emption before 9-11 must then be prescient, Iran must have been prescient to the fact that they would be labeled by Bush as part of the "Axis of Evil" as they have been developing nuclear technologies for years.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Mitch Ullman said...

While it is true that most 2nd-ish world countries have been doing what they can to develop nuclear capabilities for some time now, I do think that incentive means something. I sincerely doubt that most cognizant persons would actually hold that after the 2002 SotUA Iran suddenly began work on nuclear capabilities.

That doesn't discount the pre-emption ideology being pure bs in terms of a "post 9-11" world, but that is another topic, really.

12:14 PM  

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