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Whatever hawks might argue, attacking Iran would be an enormous mistake. The prospects for reaching a comprehensive agreement to resolve the nuclear impasse peacefully, while far from guaranteed, have never been brighter.
A nuclear-armed Iran would not make the Middle East more secure, argues Colin Kahl; it would yield more terrorism and pose a risk of a nuclear exchange. Kenneth Waltz maintains that nuclear deterrence enhances stability, and if the price is more low-level conflict, so be it.
On March 1 at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Foreign Affairs Managing Editor Jonathan Tepperman moderated a debate on the threats posed by Iran -- and how the United States should respond -- featuring authors Matthew Kroenig and Colin Kahl.
As part of Foreign Affairs' The Iran Debate: To Strike or Not to Strike, Georgetown Professor Colin H. Kahl took questions submitted to the conversation from Twitter.
Matthew Kroenig’s recent article in this magazine argued that a military strike against Iran would be “the least bad option” for stopping its nuclear program. But the war Kroenig calls for would be far messier than he predicts, and Washington still has better options available.
Today, tomorrow, or yesterday?
The U.S. military's new counterinsurgency manual is an overdue step forward in doctrine. But a look back at the history of counterinsurgency offers a sobering reminder of how low the odds of success are -- as Iraq is showing all too well.
Reports that U.S. troops may have killed 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, last November have renewed fears that the U.S. military routinely violates the laws of war. But is the Haditha incident the exception or the rule? In fact, U.S. compliance with noncombatant immunity in Iraq has been relatively high by historical standards, and it has been improving since the beginning of the war.