Quite the opposite, say a surprising number of scholars and military and arms-control experts. In reports, talks, articles and interviews, they argue that a strike could actually lead to Iran’s speeding up its efforts, ensuring the realization of a bomb and hastening its arrival.
“An attack would increase the likelihood,” Scott D. Sagan, a political scientist at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, said of an Iranian weapon.
The George W. Bush administration, it turns out, reached an even stronger conclusion in secret and rejected bombing as counterproductive.
The view among Mr. Bush’s top advisers, recalled Michael V. Hayden, then director of theCentral Intelligence Agency, was that a strike “would drive them to do what we were trying to prevent.”