U.S. preparing to go into

U.S. preparing to go into Iran, maybe:

The Bush administration’s warnings that it will not “tolerate” a nuclear-armed Iran have opened up a lively policy debate in Washington over the merits of military strikes against the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.

Analysts close to the administration say military options are under consideration, but have not reached a level of seriousness that indicates the US is preparing actual action.

When asked, senior officials repeat that President George W. Bush is removing no option from the table – but that he believes the issue can be solved by diplomatic means.

Diplomacy on Wednesday appeared stalled.

The US and its European allies on the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency continued to wrangle over the wording of a resolution on Iran which insists it has no intention of using its advanced civilian program to make a bomb.

Gary Schmitt, executive director of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative think-tank, says that with “enough intelligence and spadework”, the US could “do a good job” of slowing Iran’s program for a while

Via Phil Carter. This has been speculated for a while, but when the director of PNAC endorses it, it’s big. Then again, when the director of PNAC endorses it, it’s in all likelihood the worst possible idea ever thought. It’s been said that to reconstruct Iraq decently, it would have taken 500,000 troops. Iraq has about 25 million people, so that’s a ratio of about 1 to 50. Iran has around 70 million people; it would require 1.4 million troops to get to that ratio. The U.S. military has about 1,480,000 [PDF] troops. Unless we have a draft, there will simply not be the troop capacity for an operation of that size; there would only be 80,000 troops left for any other operation, and that’s assuming that no troops will be allowed to take breaks to visit family. Also, Iran is going to pop on its own very quickly. The only thing more stupid than invading Iran is invading Iran when your military is already overstretched. We’d be doing the latter.

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