You remember the 'Axis of Evil:' Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Two of those countries had very active nuclear weapons programs, but Bush invaded the one that didn't, bogging down our military there to the point that we're less credible as a threat to the other two.
North Korea got the bomb during Bush's tenure, and Iran looks to be nearing completion.
The Bush people dislike multilateralism, and are more than pleased to let European Union efforts to control the Iranian nuclear program fail. In their minds, this failure will debunk multilateralism and justify unilateral military action against Iran. And in the minds of many dimwits and pro-Bush partisans, it will retroactively justify the deceitful haste of cooking up an excuse for a unilateral attack on Iraq in 2003.
There is already a model for attacking Iran's nuclear capacity. Recall that in a surprise raid on June 7, 1981, Israeli Air Force planes destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor, then 18 miles south of Baghdad.
The Iranian assets will be more dispersed, hidden, and hardened. I think that the US will use a series of air raids and Special Forces assaults in an attempt to destroy Iran's nuclear program.
A friend of mine from India once said that he thought that if the US ever invaded Iran, Iran would just immediately surrender. I think my friend's implication was that the surrender would be on the day of the attack, and the insurgency would begin the next morning. A columnist on the web has argued that war with Iran would be absolutely insane and very costly because, after all, these are the Shia -- the people who love martyrdom in the form of fanatical attacks on a vastly more powerful enemy. The Iranians have a very young demographic. 18-year-old boys are just perfect for martyrdom attacks.
There is a way for Iran to detonate a device ahead of schedule, which I will enigmatically call "Farewell Victory." But detonating one might be the trigger for an invasion by the West -- before Iran can build an arsenal.
Rather than an occupation, I foresee the aforementioned in-and-out raids. One problem is the Mogadishu Effect, where one unit gets in trouble and more and more forces are poured in to try to rescue them. Then we could wind up trying to occupy Iraq AND major portions of Iran. This would heighten not just the perception of, but the likelihood of, a global war against Islam.
All this will be carefully timed for greatest strategic effect against the enemy: It will come either right before the US midterm Congressional elections in 2006, or before the US presidential election in 2008.
Left grip is 21 pounds (16, 21, 14), right grip is 70 pounds (70, 68, 64), left leg balance is 3.43 seconds, and right leg balance is 22 seconds.