Robert Kagan, Against an Israeli Strike on Iran

Robert Kagan, in arguing for something I hope will happen -- a strong statement from the Obama Administration in support of democratic change in Iran -- makes the following observation:

It would be similarly tragic if Israel damaged the likelihood of political change by carrying out an airstrike against Iran's nuclear facilities in the coming year. That would provide a huge boost to the Tehran regime just when it is on the ropes -- and for what? The uncertain prospect of setting back the nuclear program for a couple of years?

Israeli analysts I've spoken to tend to believe the opposite -- that a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities would destabilize the regime. But this is probably wishful thinking.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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