William Arkin is really good today. Go read....Those who pooh-pooh preparations to take military action against Iran, or question the likelihood because of targeting difficulties, fail to understand the Bush administration's policies and intent.Last May, I wrote about U.S. preparations for "global strike," the preemptive attack plan developed by the Bush administration. Global strike, formally known as CONPLAN 8022, refers to a specific set of contingencies to attack weapons of mass destruction should diplomacy fail in a crisis or if there are intelligence warnings of preparations for any type of strike on the United States or one of its allies... [It] constitutes a bolt-out-of-the-blue attack, a capability that has been developed wherein the President could order an attack within hours...If Iran continues to defy the international community and manufactures nuclear weapons materials, and if U.S. intelligence detects peculiar movements or actions associated with nuclear facilities or, say, Iranian arming and alerting of its ballistic missile or fighter force, CONPLAN 8022 could be implemented to strike at the activity.Given that the justification for preemption and for the global strike capability is to prevent "another 9/11," this time one with WMD, it wouldn't be relevant whether the United States was confident that it knew where ever last gram of Iran's weapons were. The focus would be against Iran's ability to deliver a WMD. The objective would be to forestall another 9/11. A strike that halted preparations for attack and set back the program so that it was no longer an immediate threat would be a success under the Bush administration's plan.This is why commentators who warn that the United States does not know where all of Iran's nuclear capabilities are missing the point. Under global strike, the objective wouldn't be to "disarm" Iran: It would be to stop it. Right now, B-2 and B-52 bombers qould handle the global strike, Arkin says. But late last week, word leaked from the Pentagon that the it'll "begin work this year on a next-generation long-range strike aircraft, accelerating its bomber modernization plans by nearly two decades."
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