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CSIS on Iran

The always sober Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies delivers a comprehensive, smart and scary report on Iran, its nuclear potential, what to do about it and what it means for Israel.

Some of its conclusions:

Iran’s nuclear program is continuing to improve and is becoming steadily more threatening. Because of Iran’s deceptive behavior, policy makers must plan to deal with a possible Iranian force with unknown characteristics, delivery systems, basing, and timelines.

Iran’s development of missiles and other potential delivery systems is ongoing and producing steadily more capable systems. Recent missile developments have shown Iran’s may be actively working to equip missiles with nuclear warheads and to improve the range-payload capabilities of its missile program. These developments given new impetus to the development of missile and air defenses by Iran’s neighbors, Europe, and the U.S.

Although there are many possible military scenarios for dealing with Iran, there are major uncertainties regarding Iranian defensive doctrine, location of HVT’s, non-state actors, covert operations, and alliances. The international community can wait for diplomacy for the time being, but it cannot ignored the need to develop effective military option, including defense and deterrence.

It’s a 178-page pdf, so be warned.