David Fulghum took the pulse of several defense professionals about the possibility of a U.S. strike on Iran:
Evidence is mounting that the U.S. defense community and the Obama administration view 2013 as the likely window for a bombing attack on Iran's nuclear and missile facilities.
It could be earlier, timed to use the chaos of the Syrian government's fall to disguise such an attack, or later, if international negotiations with Iran stretch out without failing completely. But there is evidence that Iran's intransigence over shutting down its uranium-enrichment program will not buy it much more time.
Because of these shifting factors, military planners and White House advisers are still debating the advisability of a kinetic attack on Iran even though they say that option is ready.
Elsewhere, Fulghum quotes a former military planner making a very curious remark:
“We would employ a totally stealthy force of F-22s, B-2s and Jassms [joint air-to-surface standoff missiles] that are launched from F-15Es and [Block 40] F-16s,” says the third planning veteran. “We should give Iran advanced warning that we will damage and likely destroy its nuclear facilities. It is not an act of war against Iran, the Iranian people or Islam. It is a pre-emptive attack solely against their nuclear facilities and the military targets protecting them. We will take extraordinary measures to protect against collateral damage.” [Emphasis mine]Since when is bombing a country's infrastructure not an act of war?