Attacking Iran: The Last Thing the U.S. Administration Wants to Do

In a few days, I’m slated to offer a longer riposte to Jeffrey Goldberg’s story addressing the probability and prudence of an Israeli strike on Iran (sneak peak: I think it unlikely and highly imprudent). In the meantime, I am tasked with responding to Elliott Abrams’s more narrowly framed argument that a U.S. military attack against Iran would benefit Obama domestically, and that a failure to act accordingly could cost him the 2012 presidential election. If I were to look at Iran policy solely through the eyes of a David Plouffe or a David Axelrod — i.e., in a way driven by domestic political expediency — I would mull over the following data points: In a Gallup poll from last week, 65 percent of Americans cited the economy as their top concern, while less than 1 percent listed Iran’s nuclear program. >>>

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