by Dr. Joe Tuzara
The Defense Science Board has concluded that American intelligence agencies are ill equipped to detect when foreign powers are developing nuclear weapons or ramping up their existing arsenals.
The Middle East is witnessing an almost imperceptible trend of emerging nuclear states accompanied by the challenges and perils of a growing interplay of Islamic extremism.
The rising tensions and sectarian bloodshed between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran resemble a Cold War type scenario which is steadily increasing geo-strategic risk in the entire Middle East.
Equally unnerving, the spillover of terrorism from al-Qaeda linked jihadist fighters in Syria to Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt represents a mortal threat to the security of Israel and the West.
Iran, which supports international terrorism and the murder of Americans in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Libya and Lebanon has been shrugged off by the Obama administration.
As American power recedes in the turbulent and unstable region, the world seems to have lost its perception of the difference between right and wrong. Or is it just not perceptive enough to understand the menace of a nuclear Iran?
The truth, however cruel, is undeniable: while a war-weary America retreats almost everywhere, it is disconcerting to find that President Barack Obama cares more about his own ego.
Obama couldn't care less for principles of freedom; he has ignored crimes against humanity, betrayed our allies and leaked top secret Israeli intelligence operations to the media, facilitated EU sanctions against Israel, repeatedly threatened to abandon Israel at the UN Security Council, supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and, indiscriminately helped accelerate Iran's rise as a regional nuclear power.
Worse still, Obama is a willing dupe who seems to have genuinely believed he can achieve a false nuclear control breakthrough with Iran and an unsustainable Palestinian Arab state, both at the expense of Israel.
All things considered, Obama's incompetence speak volumes and his bizarre foreign policies are indeed to blame for escalating violence and the potential for subsequent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to terrorists.
Remember Obama’s almost forgotten fiasco in Shiite dominated Iraq, his famous red lines against Syria and his secret nuclear deal - which violates UN Security Council resolutions.
The sanctions imposed on Iran had a crippling effect on its economy, threatening regime survival. And yet precisely at the point of maximum leverage, out came Obama's absurdly asymmetric "rescue package" for the mullahs, offering relief in a "sucker's deal" in which the West would weaken sanctions in exchange for cosmetic changes that do absolutely nothing to weaken Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.
The interim deal is "meaningless" because Iranian leaders already publicly revealed the "negotiations with the US about Iran's nuclear program are part of a tactic to stall international pressure and gain time".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s claim that Iran is not seeking the bomb, and said Iran has spent at least $160-billion on nuclear weapons drive - a significant clue that Iran may be hiding secret atomic weapons work.
The only problem with all developments is that all the “serious Iranian proposals” would result in the same outcome: nuclear-armed Iran.
Once Iran got the "bomb", the cascade of nuclear weapons proliferation is an unimaginable nightmare waiting to happen.
In a sense, a comprehensive final deal is impossible and there would be an unforeseen blowback to nonproliferation efforts and to the efforts under way to pursue arms control.
Simply put, a nuclear armed Iran will render the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obsolete and irrelevant.
The Iranians, perhaps, are going to use their enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom to fabricate peaceful reactor grade uranium, and have outsourced their nuclear program to North Korea.
Iranian scientists have been reported to be present at most, if not all, North Korean nuclear tests and missile launches. If this information is accurate, then the North Korean nuclear bomb should also be considered the Iranian bomb.
We shouldn’t be surprised by this state of affairs. Obama has never acted in good faith towards Israel. No matter what Israel says, no matter what it does, neither the US nor any other Western power is ever going to be convinced to take the only step that would set back Iran’s nuclear program – bombing its nuclear installations.
Most important than ever, Obama's zero nuclear weapons options for 'sharp cuts' to the US nuclear force have compromised US national interests and endangered the security of our allies.
Obama's dangerous policies encourage enemies of the US to advance their nuclear programs and undermine the credibility of the nuclear umbrella that the US provides for its allies.
The US doctrinal reasoning views nuclear weapons as essential to national security. But the release of an unclassified Pentagon study that suggests “monitoring for proliferation should be a top national security objective" is alarming and extremely surprising.
The Defense Science Board "Assessment of Nuclear Monitoring and Verification Technologies" has concluded that American intelligence agencies are ill equipped to detect when foreign powers are developing nuclear weapons or ramping up their existing arsenals.
The report contends that the detection abilities needed in cases like Iran — including finding “undeclared facilities and/or covert operations” — are “either inadequate, or more often, do not exist.”
The bigger concern may be that major nuclear programs were entirely missed by American officials: a North Korean-built reactor in Syria, when the Israelis alerted them and destroyed the facility in 2007.
North Korea, early during the Obama administration, built a uranium enrichment facility that went undetected until the North showed it off to a visiting professor from Stanford.
One troubling regional issue might go unspoken: the possibility that Iran already has nuclear weapons capability.
If it is true that Iran is using North Korea as a proxy to produce nuclear warheads, then what are we negotiating for?
Obama pretended to prevent Iran's nuclear weapons program, but his acknowledgment of Iran's "right" to enrich uranium constitutes legitimizing Iran’s status as a threshold nuclear state.
Netanyahu warns that time is growing short, declaring he wouldn't let Obama "gamble with the security of the state of Israel" and he won't let Israelis live in 'shadow of annihilation' from nuclear Iran. The Israeli leader dismissed arguments that an attack on Iran would exact too heavy a toll by provoking Iranian retaliation.
On the contrary, Israel may intend to remove Palestinian Hamas rule from the Gaza Strip first and will probably launch a sequential attack against Hezbollah, Syria and then Iran.
Coupled with "blitzkrieg" air attacks against enemies, there may be a need for Israel to contain a third Palestinian Arab intifada within its borders at the time of war with Iran.
One thing is certain: Israel does not generally outsource its security to any foreign power. Israel is left alone. There is no diplomatic option and the conclusion of the Pentagon study regarding undetectable nuclear activities is a vindication of Israel's concern about Iran's disputed nuclear program.
The stakes are very high this time. Of course, the only option to avoid war with Iran is ramping up pressure and imposing additional sanctions to bring the ruling Islamist theocracy to its senses. Sanctions do not cause war but the failure of nuclear diplomacy will lead to war.
Israel wouldn't hesitate to launch a unilateral pre-emptive attack on Iran any time soon. The world will be screaming in disbelief. Nobody will know how it was done until it is over.
Dr. Joe Tuzara was clinical research-physician-general surgeon for Saudi Arabian, Philippine and American healthcare systems and is currently an American freelance writer as well as op-ed contributor.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.