Supposedly peaceful diplomacy will solve the problems with Iran. However, resurrecting Cold War policies for terrorists and rogue states ignores the prerequisites of the late father of containment, George F. Kennan.
For Mr. Kennan, the Marxist-Leninist worldview mirrored the traditional Russian ruling-class concerns about retaining power despite archaic, fragile political systems. Mr. Kennan believed the Soviets would not pursue the “hazardous, systematic plans of a Hitlerite Germany” but always seek to undermine Western nations through various strategies short of war. Soviet leadership would not risk national resources and dominance against adversaries.
But such parallels do not exist for the war on terror in general or for the current Iranian regime. The massive deaths sought through jihad provide Islamic fundamentalists both the means and objectives to usher in the messianic Twelfth Imam while destroying Israel. Their acceptance of violent death dominates allegiances to family, tribe or country. They see no imperative for retaining a viable economic remnant. Therefore, the deterrent quality of force (mutually assured destruction) becomes useless.
The latest United Nations sanctions are pathetic (“U.N. approves new sanctions against Iran,” Page 1, Thursday). After voting in favor, Russia announced there was no problem supplying Iran with an air defense missile system and additional nuclear power plants.
Victory, and even survival, requires vigorous, costly engagement along a full spectrum of diplomacy, including application of espionage and military force. But engagement requires continuous attacks against Iranian leadership, not the population. A few willing adversaries must force meaningful forfeitures from this regime before Israel must again enforce the nuclear nonproliferation protocols.