The Current Discussion: Seymour Hersh reports a $400 million U.S. covert action program against Iran. On a scale of 1 to 10, what's the likelihood of an American or Israeli military attack on Iran before Jan. 20 (Inauguration Day), and why? For extra points, name the date.
I hate to pour cold water on the idea that the U.S. will participate in a war against Iran. These covert activities are not an introduction to war - in fact, they're the best proof that war will not happen.
It's a rather far-fetched expectation that by spending some money and attempting to ferment internal strife within Iran, the government of Iran will start a civil war that will open up an opportunity for the U.S. to wage war against them. I also doubt the possibility that after an Obama victory, Bush would use the November-January period to attack Iran. I have the same doubts about the possibility that Israel will attack Iran. A country ready to attack doesn't make a huge PR campaign about its plans.
We will hear a lot of rhetoric between now and next January. But the mistakes of Iraq, the unanimity of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies about the suspension of Iran's nuclear weapons programs, extremely low public confidence in the president, and a Democratic Congress don't bode well for any president going to war unilaterally against Iran.