Armas nucleares (Continuación)

Afghanistan expects U.S. aid to flow without interruption for six more years following the final U.S. troop withdrawal at the end of 2014 – three years hence. By itself, the U.S.-trained and U.S.-fielded Afghan army will require $5 billion to $7 billion a year in U.S. support to field an army of 350,000 in a country the size of France. Nothing is less certain.

With major defense cuts now in the works, the Pentagon will have insufficient funds to maintain current force levels in the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. It certainly won’t have the wherewithal to fight a two-front war as it did in Iraq and Afghanistan.…  Seguir leyendo »

Durante los últimos nueve meses las autoridades iraníes se han afanado por ofrecer su propia versión de las revueltas árabes. El presidente Mahmud Ahmadineyad declaró que los levantamientos de Egipto y Túnez se inspiraban en la actitud “desafiante” de Irán frente a las potencias occidentales. Por su parte, el líder supremo iraní, el ayatolá Alí Jamenei, elogió las revueltas de Bahréin, Egipto y Túnez, calificándolas de “despertar islámico” con “objetivos y orientación islámicos”.

Esa línea argumentativa tiene solo un problema: es difícil que el experimento iraní, caracterizado por una problemática situación económica, un creciente aislamiento, una población descontenta y profundas fracturas políticas, pueda ser un modelo para los tunecinos, los sirios, los libios y los egipcios.…  Seguir leyendo »

As the West ratchets up its economic pressure on Iran to halt its drive to develop nuclear weapons, the Islamic Republic’s rulers are not sitting idly by. Since Iran lacks the soft power and the economic capacity to counter Western pressure, it is likely that its leaders will resort to threats, and even to force, to prevent the West from cracking down further, as the recent attack on the British embassy in Tehran shows.

Iranian authorities claimed that angry “students” spontaneously stormed the embassy. While inside, they seized documents and set others alight, and took six embassy employees hostage. It was only much later that the crowd came under police control and the hostages were set free.…  Seguir leyendo »

Parallels between Iraq’s former nuclear weapons program and the Iranian nuclear program have shaped policy debates for nearly a decade. We are still paying the costs of failing in Iraq. Israel now seems determined to make similar mistakes in Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now claims that the real Iranian threat is hidden from view, and that it is necessary to act before the window of opportunity closes for good. His solution is straightforward: a targeted strike.

Many will agree with the diagnosis, even if they are reluctant to support the proposed solution. However, these claims are misleading on historical and logical grounds.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mientras Europa sigue ensimismada en su crisis a cámara lenta y otras potencias mundiales siguen fascinadas por el extravagante espectáculo de los innumerables esfuerzos que hacen los funcionarios europeos para rescatar el euro (y, con él, el sistema financiero mundial), una vez más se van acumulando nubarrones de guerra sobre el Irán.

Durante años, el Irán ha estado ejecutando un programa nuclear y desarrollando misiles de largo alcance, de lo que sólo se puede sacar una conclusión: los dirigentes de ese país están empeñados en construir armas nucleares o al menos alcanzar el umbral tecnológico más allá del cual sólo una decisión política es necesaria para lograr ese fin.…  Seguir leyendo »

¿Qué habría que hacer en lo concerniente a la cuestión de Irán? En Estados Unidos (y no sólo aquí) se han publicado estos días varios artículos titulados, por ejemplo, Cinco motivos para atacar y cinco motivos para no atacar. Las voces a favor razonan que Washington ha mantenido durante muchos años que un Irán nuclear es inaceptable a ojos de EE.UU. porque es agresivo, ha amenazado a varios de sus vecinos con atacarles o eliminarles e intentaría instaurar su dominio en Oriente Medio y Asia central; pero, sobre todo, la cuestión principal estriba en que no es un actor racional en la escena internacional.…  Seguir leyendo »

The release last week of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report on Iran’s progressing nuclear program has to make one wonder whether more than 30 years of sanctions have helped to thwart — or even stall — the country’s nuclear designs. There is no evidence to suggest that economic coercion has ever made Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, rethink the risks-versus-rewards calculus for developing atomic weapons. And the truly crippling sanctions that might have more of an effect would never be accepted by Western politicians, who are fearful of higher oil costs and of being seen as too harsh on the Iranian people.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tout d’abord, la question me gêne car il est difficile d’expliquer pourquoi un pays, Israël, qui dispose d’un arsenal nucléaire militaire (de 100 à 300 ogives nucléaires) s’arrogerait le droit d’attaquer un autre pays, l’Iran, signataire du Traité de non-prolifération (TNP), parce qu’il le soupçonne d’avoir l’intention de militariser son programme. L’argument qu’Israël n’a pas signé le TNP est peu recevable. Cela crée un véritable déséquilibre stratégique dans la région et que n’a-t-on pas écrit sur le refus des Etats-Unis de ratifier le traité de Kyoto alors qu’ils sont un des principaux pollueurs de la planète.

Par ailleurs, je ne suis pas certain que les autorités israéliennes aient vraiment l’intention d’attaquer l’Iran.…  Seguir leyendo »

A la fin du mois d’octobre, l’éditorialiste Nahum Barnéa, généralement bien informé, écrivait que le tandem Netanyahou-Barak était favorable à l’idée de lancer une frappe sur le nucléaire iranien. Bien que le premier ministre et son ministre de la défense aient pris soin de préciser qu’aucune décision n’était prise, un débat public extrêmement vif démarra aussitôt en Israël et au-delà.

L’avertissement du président israélien Shimon Peres selon lequel une attaque contre l’Iran était de plus en plus vraisemblable ne pouvait qu’accélérer la crainte qu’une nouvelle guerre régionale ne soit proche. La résurgence de la “question nucléaire iranienne” doit évidemment être comprise à la lumière du nouveau rapport de l’AIEA qui a établi, pour la première fois de façon aussi nette, que l’Iran travaille sans relâche au développement de l’arme atomique.…  Seguir leyendo »

Les récents développements autour du programme nucléaire militaire iranien ont relancé le débat en Israël sur l’opportunité de frappes militaires, à travers des déclarations des plus hautes autorités du pays. Si ce débat n’est pas nouveau en Israël, il prend un relief particulier dans le contexte du nouveau rapport de l’AIEA qui confirme en s’appuyant sur des éléments matériels très forts et très précis, la finalité militaire du programme nucléaire iranien.

Le débat israélien sur l’option militaire se déroule dans un environnement radicalement différent de celui qui peut parfois faire surface aux Etats-Unis ou en Europe. Pour l’Etat hébreu, la menace nucléaire iranienne est de nature existentielle.…  Seguir leyendo »

La reciente publicación de un informe de la Agencia Internacional de la Energía Atómica (AIEA) reaviva el debate sobre cómo evitar que Irán cuente con armas nucleares. Según el informe, ese país ha desarrollado la tecnología y enriquecido uranio para contar con ellas; ha fortalecido las instalaciones, y tiene los misiles adecuados. Las opciones que se discuten son un ataque sobre esas instalaciones, imponer un duro régimen de sanciones y bloqueo, o integrar a Irán en un diálogo y negociación.

En Israel, el primer ministro, Benjamín Netanyahu, y el ministro de Defensa, Ehud Barak, presionan a favor de un ataque preventivo.…  Seguir leyendo »

It has been over 20 years since the end of the cold war, and yet the United States continues to spend enormous sums on its nuclear arsenal and related programs. In fact, rather than looking for ways to save money in this budget-conscious time, the National Nuclear Security Administration is asking for even more money to build one of its most unnecessary projects yet: a second big plutonium facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The facility, which the administration says it needs to produce more nuclear warhead cores, called pits, would cost between $4 billion and $6 billion to build, and roughly a quarter billion a year to operate.…  Seguir leyendo »

Le Conseil des gouverneurs de l’Agence internationale de l’énergie atomique (AIEA), qui doit se réunir à Vienne les 17 et 18 novembre, peut féliciter son directeur général pour son dernier rapport sur l’Iran. Cette minutieuse analyse de la masse d’informations recueillies par les inspecteurs de l’Agence et par les services d’une dizaine d’Etats, sans oublier celles fournies par l’Iran lui-même, permet de passer de la basse à la haute définition dans la compréhension des efforts iraniens pour se doter de l’arme nucléaire.

Ce rapport met en lumière un point crucial : le programme clandestin d’acquisition de la bombe a bien été interrompu fin 2003 sur ordre venu du sommet de l’Etat.…  Seguir leyendo »

Speculation over an Israeli bombing mission to destroy Iran’s nuclear program is at fever pitch.

The consequences of such a strike would be staggering. Iran has vast retaliatory capacity. Missiles would be sent into oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Hezbollah would launch thousands of missiles against Israel from southern Lebanon. Iran’s proxies in Iraq would mount new terror campaigns against withdrawing American troops.

And these are just for starters.

Worse, any Israeli strike would set back Iran’s program, but hardly end it. The key to any successful nuclear program is software — technical knowledge — not hardware. It is the hardware that Israel will destroy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Today, the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report on Iran’s nuclear program. It provides the most convincing evidence to date that Iran is close to producing a nuclear weapon.

But as Iran nears the nuclear threshold, the best way to stop it may be by punishing the Chinese companies that supply Tehran and enable its nuclear progress.

The Obama administration seems to understand this. The late September visit to China by David S. Cohen, the Treasury Department’s new under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, included the most explicit warning yet to Beijing that its banks and financial institutions could face sanctions if they continued to do business with Iranian entities.…  Seguir leyendo »

When the computers that control Iran’s centrifuges were attacked by the Stuxnet worm beginning in 2009, the assault was widely ascribed to intelligence services intent on setting back Iran’s nuclear program. More significant than the damage to Iran, however, has been the damage to Western resolve, as the United States and other countries have become more complacent about the Iranian threat.

Combined with attacks targeting Iranian nuclear scientists and reports of shortages of key materials needed for centrifuges, Stuxnet has given rise to an increasingly accepted narrative that we have more time to contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions than was previously thought.…  Seguir leyendo »

How should the United States and its allies deal with evil regimes that abuse their own people and threaten world order?

During the cold war, two Soviet Nobel Prize winners disagreed on whether Western governments should treat Moscow as a viable partner in negotiations to control the nuclear arms race.

The author and Gulag survivor Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, said no, putting human rights first; the nuclear physicist Andrei D. Sakharov said yes, because he believed the stakes for humanity were so high.

Today Washington, Seoul and Tokyo face a similar choice as they confront North Korean leaders seeking to expand their nuclear missile capabilities.…  Seguir leyendo »

Iran’s response to Washington’s accusations that Tehran was involved in a bizarre assassination plot on U.S. soil discloses more about the Islamic Republic than its maladroit penchant toward violence. The reaction of Iran’s opposition as well as its establishment figures suggests a more tenuous relationship between the Islamist regime and Iranian nationalism than generally thought.

It has long been widely assumed that many Iranians, faced with foreign condemnation and escalating pressure, would rally around the flag. Yet they have not. The rupture between the regime and its people seems so fundamental that not even impudent accusations from abroad can be turned to the leadership’s advantage.…  Seguir leyendo »

It’s time to call Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s bluff.

Over the last few weeks, the Iranian president has stated on a number of occasions that his country will cease domestic efforts to manufacture fuel for one of its nuclear reactors if it is able to purchase the fuel from abroad. The United States should accept this proposal — publicly, immediately and unconditionally.

Iran’s enrichment program has been the focus of international concern for almost a decade. Its first efforts were geared toward enriching uranium to 5% — suitable for use in a power reactor. But, in February 2010, in an ominous development, it started to feed some of this material back into its centrifuges to produce uranium enriched to 20%.…  Seguir leyendo »

North Korea’s nuclear test and military provocations in 2009 and 2010 created a situation far too dangerous to leave unattended. When President Obama hosts South Korean President Lee Myung-bak this week, they are likely to discuss a second round of U.S.-North Korea talks this month, effectively opening the first negotiation of Obama’s presidency to contain North Korean belligerence.

The goal of this diplomacy remains the peaceful denuclearization of North Korea. But the administration needs to make clear the costs that will come with a failed negotiation. For too long, the North Koreans have been told to “denuclearize or else,” yet the regime has defied agreements with little consequence.…  Seguir leyendo »