Are we are on a collision course to war with Iran? With negotiations flagging, sanctions inconclusive, and an intransigent Iran speeding boldly ahead with its nuclear enrichment program, the US government appears determined to stop Iran one way or another. My Harvard colleague, Graham Allison, calls it “a Cuban missile crisis in slow motion.” Iran and the United States are like two trains hurtling toward each other on the same track in a breakneck game of diplomatic chicken.
This arresting scenario was the major take-away from the meeting of the nonpartisan Aspen Strategy Group (of which I am the director) last week. Few of the former senior government officials, journalists, and academics present were clamoring for a fight with Iran, especially after the bitter wars we have fought in Muslim countries since 9/11. But many believe an attack by the United States is likely in the next year or two unless something alters our calculus.