In This Review

A Time to Attack: The Looming Iranian Nuclear Threat
A Time to Attack: The Looming Iranian Nuclear Threat
By Matthew Kroenig
Palgrave Macmillan Trade, 2014, 272 pp

Kroenig advances a serious, but not entirely convincing, argument in favor of a U.S. strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The case rests on one premise in particular: the United States has the military capability to destroy all known Iranian nuclear facilities without committing any ground troops to the task. If that premise is incorrect, the rest of Kroenig’s brief crumbles. Kroenig proposes that if Iran dismisses inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency and begins to enrich uranium to a level of 90 percent purity, Washington should introduce a UN Security Council resolution in favor of a military strike -- but should prepare and expect to act alone. He contends that a successful U.S. strike would halt Iran’s nuclear program for at least five years. Kroenig makes his case without tub-thumping or demonization, but his position is weakened by the fact that he sees a nuclear-armed Iran as a uniquely dangerous goad to proliferation in the Middle East without seeming to realize that Israel, which has had nuclear weapons for decades, also fits that bill.