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Will the U. S. Attack Iran? (Should It?)

December 4, 2007 |  12:00:00  |  Sid Richardson Hall, Room 3.109

Adam Garfinkle, the editor of the public affairs magazine The American Interest, discussed the probability of the United States launching an attack against Iran in order to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. He argued that the U.S. is unlikely to undertake sudden actions against Iran in the next year or two. Garfinkle said that the Bush Administration is likely to wait to make any kind of decision on action, given the current uncertain state of affairs in the Middle East.

While emphasizing the importance of a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear problem, Garfinkle pointed out that if Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons in the immediate future, the cost of the U.S. inaction could be higher than the cost of military intervention, not just for the United States, but for the whole international system. Garfinkle contended that Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons could trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, creating a serious threat of proliferation and upsetting the balance of power in the region.

Adam Garfinkle was a speechwriter to Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. He has also taught U.S. foreign policy and Middle East politics at the University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College and Tel Aviv University.

This presentation was part of the Strauss Center’s Media and Global Policy Series that brings distinguished figures in the electronic and print media to campus to discuss the events and people that they cover.

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