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comment by ButterflyEffect

    Two billion of that goes to hunting down weapons-grade plutonium and uranium at loose in the world so that it doesn’t fall into the hands of terrorists. In just the past eight years the D.O.E.’s National Nuclear Security Administration has collected enough material to make 160 nuclear bombs. The department trains every international atomic-energy inspector; if nuclear power plants around the world are not producing weapons-grade material on the sly by reprocessing spent fuel rods and recovering plutonium, it’s because of these people. The D.O.E. also supplies radiation-detection equipment to enable other countries to detect bomb material making its way across national borders. To maintain the nuclear arsenal, it conducts endless, wildly expensive experiments on tiny amounts of nuclear material to try to understand what is actually happening to plutonium when it fissions, which, amazingly, no one really does. To study the process, it is funding what promises to be the next generation of supercomputers, which will in turn lead God knows where.

Well how can we start a war with Iran? We could...cut the DoE budget so it can't properly do it's job to help ensure that Iran is abiding by the Obama administration nuclear agreement...then we can make arbitrary demands and claim that Iran isn't abiding by our new pray I don't alter the agreement further deal...then we put boots on the ground in Iran! What a perfect plan!!!!!




bfv  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  
kleinbl00  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would. Once Israel goes kinetic they're on their own playbook. We go from being in control to attempting to cajole a military power acting as if they're facing an existential threat into behaving in our best interests, rather than theirs, and it always gets sticky. No matter what we do, we lose prestige, we lose control, and we get condemned by half the Arab world for letting our dog off leash. Then Iran reefs up Hamas and Hezbollah, Qassams fall like rain, big ugly slow tanks crush into the occupied territories and suddenly we're mired knee-deep in brokering an end to Intifada.

Our peace process with Iran has been protracted and byzantine but it hasn't been hot. Whenever Israel pulls the trigger shit gets dodgy. Remember - we lost 243 marines, a CIA station chief and Spooks-Only-Know what else simply by attempting to moderate Israel's attempt to moderate Lebanon's civil war. A US airstrike on Iran would likely be less destabilizing than an Israeli airstrike on Iran.

bfv  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Either I'm overestimating the degree to which our foreign policy for the next four years is whatever sounds good to old guys who watch Fox News all day or you're underestimating it.

kleinbl00  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I know that what they call "the deep state" is what the rest of us call "a functioning government" and I know that if Steve Bannon et. al. could get the Israelis to bomb Iran they would already have done so.

Foreign policy isn't carried out by Rick Perry and Rex Tillerson. It's carried out by arguewithatree and that one of the principle benefits of bureaucracy is its resilience to shock. The current administration may very much want to kick the anthill that is the Middle East but everyone they didn't appoint has a much better understanding of the risks and consequences than they do.