You might think from newspaper editorials and Sunday morning talk shows that a debate was raging over whether Israel should strike Iran's nuclear facilities. In fact, there is not—no credible security expert thinks it is a good idea, writes Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times. “Unless you’re so far over on the neocon side that you’re blind to geopolitical realities, there’s an overwhelming consensus that this is a bad idea,” says a former head of Middle East affairs for the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Yes, Kristof grants, security experts are worried about Iran's nuclear development program. But they're more worried the program could inspire other countries to follow suit, rather than about Iran using those weapons. Airstrikes would only slow a nuclear program by one to three years—not stop it—plus, they would kill civilians, turn the Arab world against the United States, potentially create a regional war, and certainly send the price of oil into the stratosphere. "Outside Netanyahu’s aides and a fringe of raptors, just about every expert thinks that a military strike at this time would be a catastrophically bad idea," says Kristof. "That’s not a debate, but a consensus." Read Kristof's full column here.