The Corner

The NIE and Free Riders

While last week’s NIE absolving Iran of intent to build nuclear weapons any time soon may be a policy disaster — let’s say it is — it has had a fascinating political effect. Never have I seen a more effective ploy by a generally far right, hawkish administration to flush out secret fellow hawks. It’s one thing to have the Israel’s intelligency or Norman Podhoretz, lambaste you for being soft on Iran. It’s quite another thing to learn that all of Western Europe (world class free riders on American expenditures of political capital and cash for the collective defense of the West) is horrified at what seems like willful blindness. Not to mention the way this NIE has ferreted out “let’s make a deal” policy types like Dennis Ross, whose realistic analysis on this particular issue is way stronger than his usual attempts to bring various Arab terror groups to the party.

Should this President or the next need to reverse course and reclassify, or even attact Iran for its nuclear development — it turns out that there will be worldwide support. Way to float a trial balloon, guys.

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