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Prof. Marek Chodakiewicz discusses “Iran: What would Reagan have done?”

Date: April 29, 2013

In a recent analysis for the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research News & Analysis section Prof. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz demonstrates how the United States can successfully change the regime in Iran while avoiding the two extremes of idle diplomatic chatter, on the one hand, and costly war, on the other.

Smart Power Iran

We should make every effort to subvert and overthrow the government of Iran as non-violently and as indirectly as is humanly possible by both covert and overt actions.

SFPPR News & Analysis
Marek Jan Chodakiewicz
April 29, 2013

Iran plays smart. We do not – unless the objective is to stay engaged for engagement’s sake. That really worked neatly during the Cold War and we had the Soviets exactly where we wanted them: engaged. Thus, for most of the conflict we did not accomplish anything save for staying engaged. The fallacious assumption was that the impotent engagement saved us from a nuclear war, as if the Kremlin was incapable of nuking us at will while remaining engaged diplomatically pro forma. Had it wanted to attack us, it would have: engagement or not. Thus, engagement was a psychological prop for our own comfort, a device to soothe our own anxieties, but not a tool to deal with a mortal enemy. And then Ronald Reagan came along and changed the rules of the game. Reagan demonstrated clearly that engagement for engagement’s sake is insufficient to secure America’s strategic objectives. As John Lenczowski says, a symphony orchestra of statecraft must be deployed to achieve them.

What are our strategic objectives in Iran? Ostensibly, we want to prevent Teheran from going nuclear, which should be our plan minimum. A sovereign nation, however, has a right to develop its potential to the utmost, including nuclear capabilities. Concerns about nuclear proliferation are easily dismissed as a ploy by the mighty to control the weak. Look at Iraq. Had it had an A-bomb, the U.S. would not have invaded. A fission device helps keep bullies at bay. That is Iran’s propaganda line and it finds many a sympathetic ear, in the developing world and Western leftist circles in particular.

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