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Courtesy Reuters

OVERKILL
Barry R. Posen

In "After Iran Gets the Bomb" (March/ April 2010), James Lindsay and Ray Takeyh offer a carefully reasoned and persuasive argument that in the likely event that Iran gains a nuclear or near-nuclear capability, the U.S. government should adopt a policy of containment and deterrence. They outline the negative scenarios that might ensue if instead of pursuing such an effort, Washington simply let regional politics take their course. Although much of their analysis is correct, it has some peculiar qualities and offers some inconsistent advice.

The strangest aspect of the article is its alarmist and martial tone, which is at odds with its specific prescriptions. The authors grimly predict all the possible leverage that Iran would glean from having or almost having nuclear weapons and the negative consequences that the United States would suffer from its failure to stop Iran from obtaining such weapons. But the

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